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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

June 17, 2009

HASC authorizes FY 2010 Navy shipbuilding request

The House Armed Services Committee has now passed its version of the FY 2010 Defense Budget. Though it has attached some strings to the cost cap on the LCS program, the committee has fully authorized the shipbuilding request for the construction of eight new vessels and advance procurement for several vessels outlined below:

LPD-17-- Completes funding for the tenth LPD-17, and increases the budget request for advance procurement for the eleventh ship by $60 million;

VA-Class Submarine --Authorizes full funding for one VA-class submarine and provides advance procurement for an additional two to be built in FY2011 and each subsequent year;

T-AKE Class-- Authorizes full funding for two T-AKE class ships; Surface Combatants--Completes funding for the third and final DDG-1000. Includes multi-year procurement authority for the DDG-51 class and authorizes full funding for one ship in FY10. To obtain savings for the multi-year procurement contract, the bill increases the budget request by $100 million for economic order quantity material.

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) --Restructures the LCS cost cap into a form similar to other cost caps. Additionally, if the Navy is unable to enter into contracts for construction within the cost cap, the Navy is directed to use those funds to complete a technical data package for both vessels which could then be used to bid the construction to other contractors. Authorizes full funding for three LCS vessels;

Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV)-- Authorizes one JHSV [the second JHSV is an army acquisition];

MPF(F) MLP Vessel--Increases the budget request by $60 million for advance procurement to continue development efforts in order to reduce risks associated with the current transfer ramp.


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