Some members of Congress aren’t happy about the Navy’s desire to kill off the $5-billion-a-copy DDG-1000 warship program and buy cheaper Arleigh Burke-class ships instead, The Boston Globe reports:
Led by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the dozen senators from Massachusetts, Maine, and elsewhere threatened to hold up other shipbuilding funds if the Navy doesn’t provide more explanation for why it won’t buy more of the DDG-1000 Zumwalt class of ships after the first two are finished around 2014.
“A shift of this magnitude in the Navy’s shipbuilding plan requires a full review … including congressional oversight,” the lawmakers wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. “To do otherwise would undermine the Navy’s shipbuilding plan.”
Perhaps, but jobs and votes certainly are a factor in the senators’ objections. Kennedy’s constituents include defense firm Raytheon, which builds the DDG-1000′s electronics. As Galrahn from the excellent Information Dissemination blog reports, the DDG-1000′s industrial base is spread over a greater number of states than that for the Burke class. “Many sub-contractors from all across the nation lose big” in the switch from DDG-1000s to Burkes. “This will be a factor in any Congressional vote” to end, or preserve, the DDG-1000.
(Art: Northrop Grumman)