Pentagon Halts Navy Winner-Take-All Destroyer Plan

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
(Reuters) - The Pentagon on Wednesday rejected for now a Navy plan under which Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Dynamics Corp. would compete for, rather than split, a potential $20 billion contract to build a new class of guided missile destroyer.

The action dovetails with moves in Congress aimed at blocking a winner-take-all approach, which the Navy has said could trim $300 million from the cost of each DD(X) destroyer. Any change to the existing production-sharing strategy "is premature at this time," Michael Wynne, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer, said in a Defense Department statement.

Wynne authorized the Navy to seek additional input from Los Angeles-based Northrop and Falls Church, Virginia-based General Dynamics on any future change in acquisition strategy.

Wynne also gave the Navy a green light to separate the development of DD(X)-related systems and software from the overall ship design effort, a move designed to give the program new momentum. Such systems include the ship's dual-band radar, integrated power and computing environment.

Opposed to an early winner-take-all stance were all four senators from Mississippi and Maine - respectively home to Northrop Grumman's Ingalls shipbuilding unit in Pascagoula and General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works in Bath - the two yards scheduled to split at least the first six ships' production.

In a March 1 letter to President Bush, these four - joined by another 16 senators, Republicans and Democrats - had argued that picking a single winner would drive the loser out of the business. That would limit forever U.S. ability to build destroyers and cruisers "at any significant rate."

The Defense Department in effect has put off a decision "to see whether Congress will in the end make the question moot through legislation," said Ronald O'Rourke, a naval analyst at the Congressional Research Service. A provision in the Senate version of a war-related emergency spending bill moving through Congress would bar the Navy from holding a competition.

Northrop agrees that a change in the current strategy would be premature but does not shrink from competition, said Randy Belote, a company spokesman. "If there is to be competition, the design should be completed before that happens," he said.

General Dynamics considers Wynne's decision "positive news" and "a very thoughtful response to a complex issue," said Rob Doolittle, a company spokesman.

Bush's spending plan for fiscal 2006, starting Oct. 1, calls for cutting $3 billion and two ships from a year-old plan to buy up to seven DD(X) destroyers through 2011.

The Navy said it would use the contractors' further input to make sure Wynne's office "has appropriate information for a final decision on the DD(X) acquisition strategy."

"The Navy continues to seek a DD(X) acquisition strategy to best serve the interests of the Navy, the industrial base, and the American taxpayer," said Lt. Jon Spiers, a Navy spokesman.

Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Least Known Navy Activity? Underwater Shipwreck Archeology

Robert S. Neyland, Ph.D., director of the Underwater Archeology Branch (UAB) of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) in Washington, D.C., manages the people who protect more than 17,

ClassNK Releases EEDI Verification Software – Free

Japanese classification society ClassNK says it offers its Minimum Propulsion Power Calculation Software and ISO-based Progressive Speed Trial Analysis Software

China Shipyard Delivers Handymax Size Bulk Carrier

COSCO Corporation (Singapore) inform that its Dalian Shipyard in China has delivered a bulk carrier of 57000 dwt, named "GUOTOU 108", to its Asian buyer. The Handymax bulker measures 189.

Navy

Least Known Navy Activity? Underwater Shipwreck Archeology

Robert S. Neyland, Ph.D., director of the Underwater Archeology Branch (UAB) of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) in Washington, D.C., manages the people who protect more than 17,

Fire Aboard US Warship Transiting Atlantic Ocean

U.S. Fleet Forces Command inform that a fire broke out aboard 'USS Hue City' (CG 66) as the ship was transiting the Atlantic.
 Hue City had departed Mayport, Fla.

USCG Cutter Leaked Sewage at Hawaii Base

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) said it is investigating a sewage discharge from one of its vessels, the Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau, at Coast Guard Base Sand Island, Tuesday.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1274 sec (8 req/sec)