The U.S. Navy proposes to build four new ships in 2006, with no funding earmarked for the new DD-X destroyer being designed by Northrop Grumman Corp.
, Reuters reported
. It appears that rising fuel costs, health care costs and Iraq
war costs have effectively conspired to sap the navy budget.
According to Reuters, it calls for the Navy to spend $6 billion in 2006 to build one of the two Northrop LPD-17 amphibious assault ships initially planned; one Littoral Combat Ship; one T-AKE logistic ship and one nuclear-powered Virginia
-class attack submarine, both built by General Dynamics Corp.
The Navy proposal, being evaluated by officials drafting the overall Pentagon budget
, would cut the size of the aircraft carrier fleet
from 12 to 11, and delay the CVN-21 aircraft carrier, another Northrop program, by one year.
have cited mounting pressure on their budget, but the decision to omit funding for DD-X, the lead ship in a new class of warships, came as a surprise to industry watchers. The Navy had planned to begin construction of the first DD-X in 2005, with a completion date in 2007.
"I would look with great concern on any delay in funding for this (CVN-21) critical program," Republican Sen. John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said in a statement.