Preserving a piece of US Maritime History - invaluable

The USS Olympia is a cruiser that fought in the Spanish American War in 1898 and has been preserved in Philadelphia. She's a one of a kind ship, a national historic monument, and in danger. She needs approximately $10-15 million in repairs to keep her a viable museum for years to come. If you have the resources, or connections to those resources, please consider helping. (full disclosure - there is no financial benefit to me to ask the question - we need to save this ship for posterity). Please contact me at 612-599-1935 or if you have additional questions.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ship building news -

The Navy took delivery of the USNS Washington Chambers, (T-AKE 11), in San Diego on Wednesday.  Read the announcement from MSC here.  Only three T-AKEs still to go.  Bring on the T-AO program ASAP.  February 26, 2011.

The Navy took delivery of the USS William P. Lawrence, (DDG 110), today in Pascagoula.  Read the announcement from Northrop Grumman here.  NGSB now has no DDGs left to build.  Three more were authorized in FY 2010 - two for NGSB and one for BIW - but as we all know, there has been no 2010 appropriation yet.  Unbelievably disruptive: major lay-offs seem inevitable, just as NGSB is about to become HuntIng Industries.  February 24, 2011. 

Defense News reports that the Navy thinks it can get the cost of a new SSBN down from the original estimate of $7 billion to a mere $6 billion.  Read the story here.  Well, that's certainly great news.  That means that, all being well, we'll be able to afford a Navy with maybe 60 ships.  Whoopy-doo. 
Let's see now.  According to the CBO, the Ohio class of SSBNs, which the new boats would replace, cost about $1.4 billion each, in 1983 dollars.  $1.4 billion to $6 billion over 28 years, that's an average growth rate of about 5.4%.  Over the same period, the Producer Price Index grew at 3.0%, giving a present value for $1.4 billion of $3.2 billion, roughly half what the Navy is aiming for.  What do we conclude?  First, shipbuilding costs are still going up, even in constant dollars, and, second, the Navy is still specifying gold-plated systems.  Why do we need these monsters, anyway?  Here's one program that is definitely going to be delayed, scaled down and stretched out.  February 23, 2011.

Last week, NGSB delivered DDG 110 and started fabrication of CVN 79.  Both these events were announced with the usual overblown press releases.  Not so the launch of LPD 23, which took place the week before.  Not only no press release, the event wasn't even covered by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  It did, however, make it into NGSB's employee newsletter, a copy of which you can read here.  So, how long before she is moved to Pascagoula?  Note that it took Avondale 176 weeks to erect this ship and based on past experience, as shown below, it will be another 90 before she's delivered.  Disgraceful.  February 27, 2011.
#NameBuilderContract AwardKeel LayingLaunchDeliveryKL-L (weeks)L-D (weeks)KL-D (weeks)
17San AntonioAvondale17-Dec-969-Dec-0012-Jul-0320-Jul-05135105241
18New OrleansAvondale18-Dec-9814-Oct-0211-Dec-0422-Dec-06113106219
19Mesa VerdeIngalls29-Feb-0025-Feb-0319-Nov-0428-Sep-0790148238
20Green BayAvondale30-May-0011-Aug-0311-Aug-0629-Aug-08157107264
21New YorkAvondale25-Nov-0310-Sep-0419-Dec-0721-Aug-0918187268
22San DiegoIngalls1-Jun-0623-May-07 7-May-10154
26John P. MurthaIngalls


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