The US Navy is slashing the number of multimillion-dollar catamarans it plans to acquire from Mobile, AL-based shipbuilder Austal USA, a move that could terminate the Joint High Speed Vessel program years earlier than previously planned.
An October 13 report from Congressional Research Service analyst Ron O’Rourke reveals that last month the Navy began briefing Capitol Hill on a new version of its plan for a 313-ship fleet.
The new plan reduces the overall shipbuilding goal for the Joint High Speed Vessel program from 21 to 10 ships, O’Rourke writes.
Included in the new 10-ship total are the five JHSVs that the Army agreed earlier this year to transfer to the Navy with an understanding that they would primarily perform Army missions.
The department’s fiscal year 2012 budget request, delivered to Congress in February, sought funding for the eighth and ninth JHSVs in FY-12.
The request also called for buying two more JHSVs annually from FY-13 to FY-15 and another one in FY-16.
But the new plan briefed to Congress last month would mean only one JHSV would be acquired beyond FY-12 – InsideDefense.com