Posted by lex, on August 19, 2008
There are times when even the sea service must bow to those who have been such Strong Military Supporters over the years, even going so far as to purchase a ship the service doesn’t want, whose defense they can’t guarantee, at a price of $2.6 billion – twice as much as the preferred competitor.
This is one of those times:
The (decision to reverse course and buy a third DDG-1000) comes after considerable pressure by lawmakers, including Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, concerned about the impact on General Dynamics, and Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, who was worried about the effect on Massachusetts-based Raytheon Co, which is building the combat system for the new ships.
Kennedy and a group of other lawmakers from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, had urged Defense Secretary Robert Gates to reconsider the Navy’s plans to buy only two new DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyers, instead of the seven planned.
They threatened to block future shipbuilding funds for all surface warships unless military officials could better justify the move to truncate the DDG-1000 program after years of touting its benefits.
With an offer like that, how could we say no?