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Engineer claims he was fired for concerns about subs' hulls

A former engineer of Huntington Ingalls Industries says he was fired for making the company aware about errors with the hulls of attack submarines.
Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Heather Judkins
The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, USS Newport News (SSN-750), arrives at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece. Newport News conducted naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The former engineer of a shipbuilding company claims he was fired for raising concerns about the hulls of U.S. Navy attack submarines.

The Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia, reported Tuesday that Ari Lawrence is suing Huntington Ingalls Industries in federal court. The company's shipyard in Newport News makes Virginia-class submarines in a partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat of Groton, Connecticut.

Lawrence's suit focuses on the problem the submarines have had with their hulls. They sometimes shed an outer skin that consists of a sonar-absorbing material that makes them harder to detect.

Lawrence claims he was fired for raising concerns about procedures for coating the hull. The company says it will vigorously fight the suit. It also noted that the Justice Department has declined to join Lawrence's case.