Is the Navy having some problems getting along with shipbuilder Northrop Grumman? Defense media overlooked some stern words–and a hand-carried letter–Congressman Gene Taylor (D-MS) delivered to SECNAV Mabus after a February 24 hearing on the Navy’s FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Budget Request. Here’s a rough transcript–of what sounds somewhat like an ultimatum:

“…Secretary Mabus, before you leave I’d like to hand-deliver to you a letter from myself, Senator Cochran (R-MS) and Senator Wicker (R-MS). A similar letter was delivered to Northrop Grumman last week. And it basically says that Congress has authorized and appropriated five ships…and yet, for whatever reason, Northrop and the Navy have not come to terms and gotten those ships started.

The admiral has made an excellent case that he needs a bigger fleet. The Congress has already responded to that by authorizing and appropriating the money. We need to get going. And so I don’t know if it’s Northrop’s delay. I don’t know if it’s the Navy’s delay. But there is a delay that needs to be addressed and I’m going to ask you to take a look at that. But again, thank all of you for your services and with that, this meeting is adjourned…”

What’s the deal here? Why all the foot-dragging? Is the delay just focusing on Northrop’s Gulf Coast yards?

At any rate, an exchange of letters is certainly not the sort of thing that happens when all is, ah, going well in the shipbuilding department.

NEXTNAVY.COM




Posted by Defense Springboard in Navy
Tags: , , , ,

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  • Byron

    So N-G owns both Senators and one Rep. out of the Mississippi CODEL? Sweet, maybe mine will work on a time share…

  • Pascal

    The result of the problems with the LPD-17 class?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    More Data released a few minutes ago re: N-G vs US Navy!

    *IMMEDIATE RELEASE* *No. 181-10
    March 08, 2010*

    ________________________________________________________________________

    Statement by Deputy Secretary William Lynn on Northop Grumman Tanker Announcement

    “We are disappointed by Northrop’s decision not to submit a bid for the U.S. Air Force tanker replacement program. In the last tanker replacement (KC-X) competition, Northrop Grumman competed well on both price and non-price factors. We strongly believe that the current competition is structured fairly and that both companies could compete effectively. Based on the inputs we received from both offerors to the Department’s draft Request for Proposal (RFP), we made changes to reduce the out-year risk to the potential manufacturers of KC-X. However, we did not change the war-fighters’ requirements to accommodate either offeror.

    The Department strongly supports trans-Atlantic defense industrial ties and believes they benefit the American war-fighter and taxpayer.”

    U.S. Department of Defense

  • Spade

    “And it basically says that Congress has authorized and appropriated five ships…and yet, for whatever reason, Northrop and the Navy have not come to terms and gotten those ships started.”

    What ships are currently under construction at their yards? Do they have the space to start those 5 ships?

  • Retired Now

    The Coastguard doesn’t have this problem with Northrup Grumman Shipbuilding. Perhaps the Navy has too many employees living in Wash.D.C. area and not enough working directly with Mississippi shipyard ?

2014 Information Domination Essay Contest