Thursday, September 24, 2009

Interesting news between the lines today on LCS, JHSV, and A-615 and A-616


"Littoral Ships, Other Weapons Cut in New U.S. Navy 5-Year Plan"
By Tony Capaccio

Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Navy has proposed a new five-year budget that cuts by almost half its purchases of a new warship that operates close to shore, a potential blow to Lockheed Martin Corp. and General Dynamics Corp.

The Navy would buy 15 of these ships through 2015, down from 29 in its plan of a year ago, and trim spending overall by 4.5 percent, according to an unreleased budget document. That’s the goal set by top Defense Department officials.

Lockheed and General Dynamics are the prime contractors for the new Littoral Combat Ship. Each has a contract to build two and would have to compete for contracts for the next 15...

The ships are designed for mine clearance, submarine hunting, humanitarian relief, and other missions in shallow coastal waters called littorals. They have a draft of no more than 20 feet, enabling them to operate close to coasts in the Persian Gulf, Korean peninsula and elsewhere...

Programs Deferred

The Navy would trim about $25 billion through 2015 by deferring or canceling weapons programs, including a total of about $18 billion in its shipbuilding account, which includes the littoral ship...

The Navy plan also would cut through 2015:

-- Two of 11 planned high-speed [JHSV], shallow-draft troop and cargo vessels managed by the Navy to transport Army and Marine Corps units and helicopters. Austal-USA is building the vessels in Mobile, Alabama.

[A good guess is those Two JHSV's they no longer will be building are A-615 and A-616. I'd say it's a sure thing they will be retrofitted and "painted gray."]

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