Washington, D.C.— Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) and Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee Chairman Gene Taylor (D-MS) made the following statements on the Navy’s decision to modify its shipbuilding plan with respect to surface combatants.

 “I am pleased with the Navy’s decision to focus its resources on the DDG 51 destroyer, with its known costs and capabilities, rather than the increasingly expensive DDG 1000,” said Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO). “Our committee recommended this action in the fiscal year 2009 Defense Authorization Act, and I am pleased to see the Navy heed our advice. It is a responsible decision that will benefit both the Navy and the taxpayer for years to come.” 

 “I believe this is the right thing for the men and women of our Navy and the citizens who pay for these ships,” Subcommittee Chairman Gene Taylor (D-MS) commented. “The DDG 51 class destroyer is the premier destroyer in the world today.  The ship has tremendous flexibility in a variety of warfighting missions, including the ability to serve as a ballistic missile defense platform.  Just as important, the costs of these ships are well known.  The Navy has built 62 of these superb vessels and our shipyards know how to build them on budget and on schedule.

 Taylor continued, “The two DDG 1000s that our nation will build will be extremely capable ships.  However, virtually every independent organization with expertise in ship cost analysis has predicted the first two ships will cost up to $5 billion each, or more than $1.5 billion more than the Navy has budgeted.  Such cost overruns would cripple the Navy’s plan to reach a 313-ship fleet.  

 “I believe that our Navy and our nation are better served by building a large number of DDG 51s and then proceeding with a timely and orderly plan to begin construction of the next generation of nuclear powered cruisers.  I look forward to working with Admiral Roughead and Secretary Winter during the return to DDG 51 production,” concluded Taylor.