Bartlett Urges Naval Shipbuilding Reform

Wednesday, March 21, 2007
A leading Republican in Congress called Tuesday for sweeping reforms in the U.S. Navy's shipbuilding programs. There are several key elements necessary to achieve cost reductions, including commonality of designs at the component and system level, stability in the shipbuilding program, sufficient volume to optimize workloads, and shipyard facility modernization, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee of the U.S. House of representatives, said in a House hearing on naval shipbuilding costs and practices. Bartlett, said he had traveled around the world to visit Europe and Asia's most competitive and efficient yards and that he wanted to facilitate the transfer of best practices from these yards to U.S. yards. I was struck not only by what I saw on these production lines, which was the sight of relatively few hand welders, but also by what I heard -- which was the relative quiet of advanced cutting processes such as laser and water jets. The contrast to our naval shipyards was stark. I do not believe we are taking full advantage of these technologies and practices in the construction of U.S. warships, Hunter said. Source: UPI

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