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December 19, 2005

Conferees approve $9.4 billion for Navy shipbuilding

House and Senate conferees yesterday agreed the FY06 Defense Appropriations Bill.

The President's Navy Shipbuilding request included funding for four ships: one Virginia-class submarine, one LPD-17 amphibious ship, one Littoral Combat ship (LCS), and one T-AKE cargo ship.

The conference agreement fully funds these requests and adds two additional LCS ships (an increase of $440 million). The recommendation fully funds the Navy's DD(X) destroyer program, including $716 million in advance procurement and $1.1 billion in research and development.

In addition, $30 million is provided for the acceleration of ship design for the CG(X) next generation cruiser.

In total, the agreement provides $9.4 billion for new ship construction and ship conversion, an increase of $306 million above the budget request.

That's the bare bones of the bill's shipbuilding provisions. Some of the detailed provisions have yet to emerge. But they include such things as requiring the DoD to maintain two shipyards for destroyer production, requiring the DoD to develop more advanced, cost effective submarine technologies for inclusion on Virginia-class submarines or new designs, and adding $50 million to the LHA (R) amphibious ship program and authorizing the start of advanced construction.