Gulfport, Miss. - "This contract for long lead materials for LPD 27 is good news and I hope it is a signal that the Navy and Northrop Grumman are close to agreements on the other ships that Congress funded almost a year ago." Congressman Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) said.

"In my first three years as Chairman of the Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee," Taylor continued, "we authorized and appropriated funding for eight ships that will be built at Ingalls.

"Last year we authorized and appropriated $1.9 billion for DDG-113, $872 million for LPD-26, $579 million for advance procurement for DDG-114, $185 million for advance procurement for LPD-27, and $170 million for advance procurement for LHA-7.

"Since March, I have met with the Navy and Northrop Grumman several times to urge them to finish negotiations, sign the contracts, and start building the ships. This LPD-27 contract is the first of what should be a wave of contract announcements."

In Taylor's first two years as Seapower Chairman, he secured Congressional approval for full funding for LPD 25 and LHA 6, completed the funding of LHD 8, and provided advance funds for LPD 26, LHA 7, and DDG 113. Taylor also secured full funding for Ingalls' share of DDG 1000, 1001, and 1002. Northrop Grumman is building the composite deckhouse for those ships.

The seapower subcommittee's portion of the Defense Authorization bill for 2011 includes $1.5 billion to complete funding of DDG-114 and $950 million in incremental funding for LHA-7. The House passed the bill and is still waiting for the Senate to vote on it.