July 24, 2008
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Bowing to reality, the Navy is capping the whoppingly expensive DDG 1000 program at just two ships. Instead it will reactivate the DDG51 class program.
Although there has as yet been no public pronouncement of the decision, the Secretary of the Navy has informed members of the Senate and House that the Navy plans to cancel the DDG1000 program after completion of the first two ships.
The decision has led to some back-biting between two Maine legislators. Republican Senator Susan Collins, a champion of the ship, called the decision to cut the program "a blow to Bath Iron Works" and said it was "was triggered by the decision of the House Armed Services Committee to eliminate funding for the DDG-1000 program, which prompted a review within the Department of Defense on the future of the new destroyer program. Unfortunately, Maine currently has no member on the House Armed Services Committee to advocate for programs critical to BIW's workforce."
U.S. Representative Tom Allen, a Democrat who gave up his seat on the Armed Services Committee, said, he'd been notified by CNO Admiral Gary Roughead, that after capping the DDG 1000 class with construction of just two vessels the Navy will reactivate the DDG 51 class with an initial commitment to order 9 additional ships through Fiscal Year 2015.
"The Navy's decision to cap the DDG 1000 program and revive the DDG 51 program was related to the strategic limitations of the DDG 1000 in responding to future threats," said Allen, adding that "Senator Collins' suggestion that the decision was triggered by the House action is completely inconsistent with what Admiral Roughead said to me today about the strategic limitations of the DDG 1000."
Though the DDG does, indeed, have strategic limitations, most analysts have little doubt that the major factor in capping the program is its gigantic cost--probably upwards of $5 billion a ship.