U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has indicated to the House Appropriations Committee that the service will prioritize funding ship construction programs in the event of new budget cuts, the Washington Business Journal reported Friday.
Jill Aitoro writes that Mabus told the committee Thursday that programs’ lead time, regional employment and level of integration are factors that would lead to significant impact on the industrial base and economy if shipbuilding budgets go down.
“It is important … to provide stability and predictability to the industrial base to maintain our ability to continue to build the future fleet,” Mabus said, according to the report.
“A healthy design and production industrial base is critical to achieving what is needed for our fleet in ships, aircraft, weapons and all procurements.”
The Navy has requested $44. 4 billion to fund fiscal 2016 procurement programs for three littoral combat ships or frigates, two Arleigh Burke destroyers, two Virginia-class submarines and a new oiler, the report said.