Friday, May 09, 2008

Sanity Returning to Shipbuilding?

I'm starting to think myself a Liberal, at least in terms of Navy Procurement. From the Navy Times:

Rep. Gene Taylor, a Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the
House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee, passed up to the full
committee a bill that would delete a third DDG 1000-class destroyer, for the
time being, to pay for another San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and
two T-AKE-class cargo ships...

In one of his harshest indictments yet, Taylor blasted the
DDG-1000 as incompletely designed, too expensive and unnecessary, given the
success of the Navy’s long-running Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. The
unfinished design and unproven systems on the ships would lead to inevitable
cost overruns, he said, which would “cripple the Navy’s shipbuilding account and
drastically impact fleet size and capability.”

“The solution offered every year is that the solution will be
delayed to future years,” Taylor said. “I do not believe the plan to achieve a
313-ship fleet is achievable in its current form. I am convinced that the only
path to a 313-ship fleet is to build ships of a proven design and build them in
sufficient numbers to realize shipyard efficiency.”

Excuse me while I fan myself. Hard to believe such common sense is emanating from Congress, and we sincerely wish some would infect the Pentagon.

The article goes on to discuss the need for new nuclear powered cruisers, specifically because of the current high cost of fuel. Need I point out we already possess such vessels in the form of nuclear attack submarines? If the fleet goes underseas, why would we need expensive surface cruisers which may take decades to finally enter service, and will be vulnerable to precision cruise missiles, all for the cause of sticking it to OPEC?

Much more at Information Dissemination.