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Budgets | Issues - Political | Surface Ships - Combat | Think Tanks | USA

Heritage Foundation: Questions to Ask re: DDG-51 vs. DDG-1000

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Incoming fire…(click to view full) The right-wing Heritage Foundation recently published an in-depth paper that addresses the destroyer shipbuilding debate in Congress. The USA’s reconciled FY 2009 defense budget approves $2.5 billion to “fully” fund DDG-1002, but that will not end the debate. Official reports place the ship’s likely cost at up to twice that amount, and the FY 2009 bill includes a clause that could divert the $2.5 billion to fund additional DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers instead. “Changing Course on Navy Shipbuilding: Questions Congress Should Ask Before Funding” contains a great many links to existing research. It can reasonably be characterized as leaning toward building more DDG-1000 ships, but the offers key questions to ask rather than recommendations. This is more than just a rhetorical device. The answers to those questions could tip the debate either way, and the report does point to discrepancies between recent and past Navy statements that need clarification. The think tank also offers research evidence that disputes some recent Navy statements, with an especial focus on the ships’ air defense and anti-submarine capabilities: “The recent testimony by Admiral McCullough and Deputy Assistant Secretary Stiller has raised new questions and left other concerns unanswered. […]

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