“If the president-elect is talking about building things in the
economic stimulus, which he is, [an option for] doing that is
rebuilding the Navy fleet.”
tactical UAV. The service is awaiting
further testing from the manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, to see if
a search radar can be integrated.
U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss.
Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower subcommittee
On what may lie ahead for U.S. Navy shipbuilding efforts.
“I’m looking at this from a strategic standpoint. I strongly
believe we need to have 11 carriers if we’re trying to project
force around the world.”
U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va.
Co-chairman of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus
Discussing the future of the Navy’s carrier force after touring the service’s newest
carrier, USS George H. W. Bush, which was commissioned Jan. 10.
Newport News Daily Press
emptively shield the program from
any cuts in the next administration.
In a Dec. 30 letter to Obama, 27
lawmakers led by Rep. Joe Courtney,
D-Conn., urged him to safeguard
money for the program to keep the
procurement schedule on track.
Groton, Conn.-based Electric Boat is
in Courtney’s district.
“The naval fleet we build today is
the one we will have tomorrow, and
we simply do not know what security challenges we will face in the
decades ahead,” the lawmakers
wrote. “As we make difficult choices
about military spending priorities,
we cannot lose sight of the need to
ensure that our submarine force is
able to fulfill our security needs both
now and in the future.”
Coast Guard Continues
NSC, UAV Program Work
The Coast Guard is aiming to have
the fourth National Security Cutter
(NSC) under contract in early fiscal
2010, which starts Oct. 1. The service also expects to have a contract
for the fifth NSC in 2011.
The 25-year, $24 billion Deepwater program calls for eight NSCs.
During a media roundtable Dec. 30,
Rear Adm. Gary T. Blore, assistant
commandant for acquisition and
chief acquisition officer, said the
service is “still planning on a total
project size of eight cutters.”
The first NSC, Bertholf, was commissioned Aug. 4 but will remain in
“special-commission status” until
2010. The second NSC, Waesche, is
73 percent completed and will be
commissioned this year. It, too, is
projected to be placed in “
Construction on the third NSC,
Stratton, has begun.
Meanwhile, the service is continuing its search for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that would operate
from the NSC. Blore said Coast
Guard officials are very interested in
the Custom and Border Patrol’s
Predator program because of its
command and control systems.
“If it ends up being Predator, that
would meet our requirements for a
mid-altitude fixed-wing [unmanned
aerial system],” Blore said.
The Coast Guard continues to
observe the Navy’s testing of Fire
Scout, a vertical takeoff and landing
GAO Upholds USCG
Patrol Boat Award
The Government Accountability
Office (GAO) has upheld the Coast
Guard’s award of the Sentinel-class
Patrol Boat contract to Bollinger
Shipyards Inc., Lockport, La.
The decision was announced Jan.
12, but the GAO did not make details
public as the ruling was made under
a protective order it had issued in
connection with the case, according
to a release from the Coast Guard.
Bollinger Shipyards was awarded
an $88 million contract for program,
also known as the Fast Response
Cutter, Sept. 26. Marinette Marine
Corp., Marinette, Wis., contested
the award Oct. 7. The basis of the
protest was not disclosed. Marinette
is the marine division of Manitowoc
Co. Inc., Manitowoc, Wis.
“We are, of course, very pleased
with GAO’s decision,” Blore said in
a statement Jan. 13. “The Coast
Guard had been confident, especially given the acquisition reforms
our agency has put in place and
with the rigor and discipline followed throughout the process for
this patrol boat contract award, that
the GAO would ultimately uphold
the Coast Guard’s decision.”
The contract, if all options are
exercised, could be worth up to
$1.5 billion for 34 new boats.
Work is scheduled to resume immediately on the 153-foot boats.
They will replace the Coast Guard’s
110-foot Island-class cutters,
which have reached the end of
their 20-year service lives.
Marine Corps Getting
The U.S. Marine Corps’ CH-53D
and CH-46E helicopters will have
their Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system installed