In a June 6 letter to John Young,
undersecretary of defense for acquisition, Taylor warned that cost projections on the DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer are “optimistically
low” and could ultimately exceed
current projections by hundreds of
millions of dollars per ship.
Taylor inserted a provision in
the House-passed version of the
fiscal 2009 defense authorization
bill that would put an indefinite
hold on the destroyer after production of the first two ships.
Rather than approving the $2.5
billion request for the third of seven
planned DDG 1000s, the House
authorized just $400 million for
advanced procurement for either a
DDG 1000 or a more affordable
But Taylor has made no bones
about the fact that he wants the Navy
to use that money on the DDG 51.
Young, however, is emerging as
perhaps the fiercest advocate of the
DDG 1000 within the Pentagon.
The former assistant Navy secretary for research, development and
acquisition told the Senate Armed
Services Committee June 3 that ending the DDG 1000 program would
hurt the industrial base and drive up
costs on the first two ships.
What’s more, he said, restarting
production on the DDG 51 would be
Young also took issue with the
Navy’s own estimates, outlined in a
May 7 letter from Chief of Naval
Operations Adm. Gary Roughead,
that it could buy one DDG 51 in
2009 for $2.2 billion or two for $3.5
billion, far less than the $2.6 billion
estimates for each DDG 1000.
The letter, Young said, was
“based on key assumptions that are
incorrect in some cases.”
U.S. service members from the Expeditionary Training Command and Coast
Guard International Training Division conduct a vessel assessment aboard a
Belize Coast Guard boat prior to boarding the high-speed vessel Swift for further training exchanges during Swift’s 2007 deployment as part of the pilot
global fleet station to the Caribbean basin and Central America. Under a new
five-year lease, Swift will support U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
roles during the last five years, has
been leased for another five years to
support U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
The Military Sealift Command
(MSC) has awarded a $21.9 million
charter to Sealift Inc., a New York-based company that will lease the
U.S.-flagged HSV from its owner,
Bollinger/Incat, and operate the vessel for one year for U.S. Fleet Forces
Command. Swift will be used to develop emerging concepts such as the
global fleet station and sea basing.
The contract period begins in
October and includes three one-year
charter options and one 11-month
option. If exercised, the options
would total $93 million. Bollinger/
Incat is a consortium of Louisiana-based Bollinger Shipyards and Incat
of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
Swift has been operated under
charter for MSC’s Special-Mission
Program as HSV 2. Under the new
charter, the ship will be operated
under MSC’s Prepositioning Program
and designated simply as HSV Swift.
During the past five years, the
98-meter-long Swift has operated
worldwide in support of joint
forces, including Hurricane Katrina
relief operations, training of Latin
American maritime forces and supporting the global fleet station
experiment in West Africa.
“Fleet Forces Command came to
us with a requirement for a high-speed vessel in a short timeframe
and we were pleased to be able to
charter a ship capable of meeting all
of their requirements,” said Mike
Neuhardt, a senior manager for
MSC’s Prepositioning Program.
“Swift has great military utility. It
is fast, maneuverable, has a shallow
draft and can carry up to 500 short
tons of equipment,” he said.
Experience from Swift’s operations will be incorporated in the
Joint High-Speed Vessel program.
HSV Swift Given
New Charter, Designation
The high-speed vessel (HSV) Swift, a
wave-piercing catamaran used by the
Navy for a variety of development
Survey Shows Big
Maritime Worker Shortfall
Almost two-thirds of the operators of
U.S.-registered vessels responding to
a voluntary Maritime Administration
survey said they had trouble in the
past year finding enough qualified
people to fill all their jobs.
The results of the survey were
made public May 27, and also
■ Eighty-nine percent of the respondents tried to hire mariners in
the past year, but 71 percent encountered problems in recruitment. The
largest area of concern is in the hiring of licensed deck mariners.
■ More than half of the respondents indicated a degree of difficul-