The HAC Hacks Shipbuilding Plan
Overall, the HAC provides funding for eight new Navy ships in fiscal 2006, including a T-AKE ship, double the number of vessels requested in President Bush's fiscal 2006 budget plan, but unchanged from the number funded in the current fiscal 2005. HAC lawmakers provided $440 million for two Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) that Bush didn't request, adding to the $249 million for one LCS that Bush did propose.
The HAC bill deletes the Bush request for $715.99 million in advance procurement funds for a next-generation DD(X) destroyer, along with $304 million of advance funding for the DD(X) in the current fiscal 2005, stating that the destroyer program is troubled. That's a total of $1 billion slashed. But the bill does include $670 million of research, development, test and evaluation money to continue developing the future destroyer.
The news for the LCS is not entirely good, however:
As well, the HAC criticized the program to develop the modules, which are to be used interchangeably on either the GD or the Lockheed LCSs, terming the modules program "less mature. A number of these technologies have not been demonstrated in an operational environment, and cost estimates for the mission modules appear immature as well."