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March 8 2002

Senator wants to tap Bush "slush fund" to up Navy build rate
The Bush Administration's budget proposals for FY 2003 asks for $6.5 billion to build just five new warships, down from six in the current budget. This has raised widespread concerns.

But though the budget proposals contain little for Navy newbuildings, they do include a $10 billion contingency fund the President could spend without further congressional action for military operations against terrorism. Some Democrats have characterized this as a "slush fund" and its prospects for congressional approval seem dim.

Senator Susan CollinsNow, according to published reports, one member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Susan Collins, R. Maine, is suggesting taking some of this slush fund to get the Navy new construction rate up to a more sensible level. This proposal is reportedly endorsed by the committee's ranking Republican member, Senator John Warner of Virginia.

Damen gets Portuguese ferry order
Damen Shipyards is to build seven low wash fast ferries for Soflusa (Sociedade Fluvial de Transportes S.A.) based in Lisbon, Portugal. Construction of the Fast Ferry 4912 designs will be carried out at Damen's Singapore facility.

Soflusa will operate the vessels between Sul e Sueste terminal and Barreiro in Lisbon. The vessels will also be equipped for other routes such as occasional trips along the coast.

The vessels will be fitted out to carry 600 passengers and a crew of four Service speed will be 25 knots and the maximum speed 30 knots.
The propulsion package comprises twin MTU 16v 4000 M70 main engines, Reintjes gearboxes and Hamilton waterjets.

Special attention is being paid to low hull design wash characteristics low sound levels, low maintenance schedules, etc. The DFF 4912 will be dual classed by Bureau Veritas and RINAVE. Safety matters will be classified by Instituto Maritimo Portuàrio (IMP).

Sperry gets $27.2 million Navy contract
Northrop Grumman Corporation's Sperry Marine unit has won a U.S. Navy contract worth up to $27.2 million to provide engineering and technical support for integrated ship navigation and control systems.

The three-year contract, awarded by the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, will run through September 2004.

The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract includes engineering services and technical support for installed systems, spare parts, hardware and software upgrades, logistics and maintenance support, labor and material. The contract supports Sperry Marine's integrated navigation and ship control technology.

The Sperry Marine integrated bridge system (IBS) networks the ship's systems and sensors into a single interface, providing a high level of reliability and redundancy of critical equipment thereby minimizing the ship's operating costs while its modular structure easily expands to meet future requirements.

The IBS includes primary navigation sensors, radars, electronic chart display and information systems, gyrocompasses, autopilots, ship control systems, echosounders and other navigation systems, all running under Sperry's proprietary Voyage Management System software. The IBS improves situational awareness for the watchstander by providing an integrated real-time picture of the ship's position and movement across an electronic chart display. Sperry Marine has installed similar IBS equipment on over 150 U.S. and international naval ships and submarines.