According to a Reuters report, President George W. Bush's nominee to head Navy acquisition vowed to make shipbuilding a top priority and said she would try to avert funding disruptions that tend to push costs higher.
Delores Etter, an engineering professor at the Naval Academy who served in the Pentagon during the Clinton administration, told the Senate Armed Services Committee
that technologies need to be fully developed and tested before being added to new arms programs. Etter also vowed to investigate ways to better finance shipbuilding, which is done on an annual basis now, rather than over the four to eight years it takes to build a ship.
Questioned by lawmakers about the Navy
's failed proposal to have just one contractor build the new DD(X) destroyer, a plan Congress derailed, Etter said it would cost more to keep two shipb
uilders working on two or less destroyers a year.