$5 Billion CVN-76 Gains Support
At press time it appeared that CVN-76, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier which would be built at Newport News Shipbuilding, was gaining support in Washington. On May 5 the House Armed Services Committee approved full funding for the carrier in the fiscal 1995 defense authorization bill (HR4301) that the House began debating in mid-May. (The Clinton Administration has requested $3.6 billion in the FY '95 budget for the project.) President Clinton's initial support for CVN-76 came via the bottom- up review — a statement of the country's post-Cold War military needs, which expressed a need for a 12-carrier fleet — released last September by then Defense Secretary Les Aspin.
Of course the building of CVN-76 would have an economic ripple effect far beyond the Virginia-based Newport News Shipbuilding, and would come as a big boost for many suppliers affected by the Navy's current downsizing plans.