CRS report: Opponents of funding LPD-29 could argue the Navy has not selected LX(R) vendor

By Lee Hudson / March 17, 2017 at 11:56 AM

Opponents of funding an additional San Antonio-class ship in the fiscal year 2018 budget request could argue the Navy has not yet selected a vendor for the follow-on dock landing ship replacement, according to a new Congressional Research Service report.

Industry and lawmakers in recent months have argued that funding LPD-29 will keep the production line hot at Ingalls Shipbuilding as it competes for the Navy's LX(R) program. Ingalls, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, submitted a design based on the San Antonio-class ship hull form. General Dynamics NASSCO is also competing in the LX(R) competition.

However, Ronald O'Rourke, the naval forces analyst at CRS, writes in a March 14 report that the Navy has not selected a vendor for LX(R), potentially making the point moot.

Additionally, he says, providing additional funding in FY-17 to accelerate the first LX(R) could require reductions in other Navy programs, "which could have adverse effects on those programs."

O'Rourke writes that the LX(R) construction schedule was already accelerated by one year for the first ship through additional funding in the FY-16 budget. The FY-16 budget provided $29 million in additional research and development funding and $250 million in additional advance procurement funding.

He notes that additional funding for LX(R) in FY-17 "might not be able to accomplish much more in terms of additional schedule acceleration."