Harker: Navy would accelerate shipyard improvement plan with additional funding

By Aidan Quigley / April 29, 2021 at 3:08 PM

The Navy would accelerate its $21 billion Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan if it were to receive additional funding for the plan in the Biden administration's infrastructure bill, acting service Secretary Thomas Harker told the House Appropriations defense subcommittee Thursday.

Harker testified the day after a bipartisan congressional group proposed a $25 billion shipyard improvement bill. The Navy's plan currently is stretched out over 20 years.

"I know there's been talk by different folks on the Hill about putting that in the infrastructure bill; it's something that we would appreciate the opportunity to accelerate that program; it's very critical to our success moving forward," Harker said.

Vice Adm. William Galinis, head of Naval Sea Systems Command, said at a House Armed Services readiness subcommittee hearing last month the Navy was considering accelerating the plan following congressional concerns that the 20-year timetable was too long.

The bill proposed earlier this week would provide $21 billion for the SIOP; $2 billion for commercial repair shipyards, subcontractors and suppliers to maintain the fleet; and $2 billion for commercial new construction shipyards, subcontractors and suppliers to build the future fleet.