By Paul McLeary
WASHINGTON: The Navy’s coming request for the 2020 fiscal year is still under wraps, but one important piece of the Navy’s future plans appears increasingly certain: the service will commit billions to buy two new Ford-class aircraft carriers under the same contract. While most of that money won’t be spent in ’20, it’s still a tremendous long-term commitment that, advocates say, should save 5 to 10 percent over buying each carrier separately.
The Navy says that the long-troubled Ford program has turned a corner, and it is pushing ahead with remaining fixes while planning to save up to $4 billion by buying the next two flattops on a single massive contract. That mega-deal would remove uncertainty for the builder, HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding, and help keep production lines humming with no expensive stop-and-start in construction or ramping up and down of supply chains, which spreads across dozens of states.
Congress first has to review the plan over the next 30 days before Navy can award the contract.READ MORE