From Aviationweek.com 2005 May

The U.S. Navy is looking to award dual contracts to Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Dynamics Corp. to have each build a lead DD(X) destroyer simultaneously in the hopes that the service can compete the shipbuilders for a future round of DD(X) orders.

Meanwhile, the Navy also is considering boosting the number of Flight 0 orders for its Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), John J. Young Jr., the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, told reporters at the Pentagon May 25.

Young said the current DD(X) plan is "unaffordable and unexecutable" and that he would like to put the two defense shipbuilders in a "competitive death grip" for the DD(X) to wring the best deal for taxpayers. While declining to comment about recent congressional efforts to bar a competition and cap the program (DAILY, May 5, 24), he said he doubts the Navy would continue the program with a $1.7 billion-per-ship cap and a requirement to keep building them in two shipyards.

"I do not think the Navy would be prepared to bear the additional costs of that ill-advised strategy solely for purposes of getting Marine Corps fire support," he said.

"You can't cap the ship and then refuse our acquisition strategy," he later added. "The box is getting pretty small."

If top Pentagon acquisition officials approve, Young said he would try to let the contracts for the two lead DD(X)s within a matter of weeks.

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