Navy’s budget cuts may benefit Pascagoula’s Northrop

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ dramatic budget-cutting announcement Monday, including a sharp turn on shipbuilding policy, was met largely with equanimity by Mississippi lawmakers.

“The Navy’s decision to reduce the number of Zumwalts is based on affordability and the ship’s vulnerability to emerging threats,” said U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Bay St. Louis, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee.

Taylor said that the Navy’s decision to reduce the number of the $5 billion DDG-1000s Zumwalt-class destroyers and restart production of the smaller, cheaper $1.3 billion DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers would benefit Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula.

Sun-Herald 4/8/9