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CVN-76: BEYOND VIRGINIA

The debate over CVN-76, the estimated $4.5 billion nuclear aircraft carrier which would be built at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) and commissioned in the year 2002, has moved from the U.S. House of Representatives to the U.S. Senate.

Early indications point to the Nimitz class aircraft carrier becoming a reality, heartening news to many suppliers which have seen once bread-and-butter U.S. Navy business dwindle steadily.

CVN-76 is part of the FY '95 Defense Authorization Bill, dubbed HR 4301 in the House. The House version calls for $3.6 billion for the project from the FY '95 budget. However, one influential senator sought immediately to push that schedule even harder.

Senator Charles S. Robb (DVa.) immediately offered an amendment to restore full funding for CVN- 76. Sen. Robb was pushing to have the Armed Services Committee subcommittee authorize $1.2 billion for CVN-76 from FY '94 defense funds, and the remainder of the money — $2.4 billion — from FY '95 funds. "CVN-76 is key to the Navy's future plans for the defense of the country," Sen. Robb said. "And it is also essential to Virginia's economic future, particularly to the Peninsula and Newport News Shipbuilding." Sen. Robb offered the amendment in the Regional Defense and Contingency Forces Subcommittee mark-up.

While it's logical to reason why state legislators stand squarely behind the CVN-76 project, they by no means constitute the only support for the project. The size and scope of the project would involve millions of dollars in contracts in nearly every state — contracts for suppliers which have been facing U.S.

Navy downsizing (see list of CVN- 76 suppliers). It is reported that the carrier affects 42 states and 120,000 jobs. In FY '92, NNS purchased more than $252 million in goods and services.

"I fully support CVN-76," said Congressman Owen Pickett (DVa.), Second District, Va. "The case has been made for the need of an added carrier to preserve defense needs as well as the industrial base. Carriers are the front line defense for the U.S. Navy..." and we need a steady stream to keep a strong carrier force. Congressman Pickett's comments represent the conventional justification for the new carrier: preserving a strong national defense (i.e. not cutting too much) and preserving NNS's ability to build the ships. Lest it be forgotten that in the "bottom-up review" of the nation's post-Cold War military needs, released last September and approved by President Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin called for maintaining a fleet of 12 carriers, which is one fewer than the current fleet.




Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction History

1995 Sname Annual Meetinng & International Maritime Exposition
American Shipbuilding Issociation
Bender Shipbuilding Proposal Selected For Maritech Fundin
BIW Sale Invites Industry Speculation
Changes at Malta Drydocks
Con-Select To Supply NNS Double Eagle Equipment
DOT/Industry Partnership Results In $37 Million In Cooperative Agreements
Eletson Tanker Takes Shape At NNS
Expansion Via Acquisition
German, U.S. Ties Strengthened Via SMM Partnership
Gladding-Hearn Builds Whale-Watching Cat
Increasing Orders Put South Korea Ahead Of The Competition
KCS Updates TRIBON
Marinex, Ingalls & Metro Machine Tanker Project Wins MARITECH Funds
McDermott Enters Russian Shipbuilding Venture
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Newport News One Of Two Finalists For Sabine Double- Hull Refit Contracts
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ORDERS CONTINE TO FLOW
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Resilience In The Face Of Adversity
SCA: OECD Talks Fail On Jones Act, European Export Credit Issues
Set four Clock For 2002: New ASIS report finds that next big push of tanker building to tab place between 2002-2004
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U.S. Named Official Partner Country At SMM '96
USS Inchon Redesignated For N ew Mine W a r f a r e Mission
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