Downsizing the Navy's Industrial Base

Northrop Grumman announced July 13 that it will close Avondale Shipbuilding in New Orleans and wants to sell its other two naval shipyards, Newport News in Virginia and Ingalls in Mississippi. The United States only has eight naval shipyards and Northrop's are the largest. Avondale builds amphibious warfare ships and this work is expected to move to Ingalls, which builds destroyers. Newport News is the only shipyard that can build aircraft carriers, and it also builds nuclear submarines. General Dynamics owns three shipyards: Electric Boat (submarines in Connecticut), Bath Iron Works (surface warships in Maine) and NASSSCO (logistical support ships in San Diego). The other two shipyards build the smaller Littoral Combat Ships and are foreign owned: Marinette Marine in Wisconsin (owned by Italy's Fincantieri) and Austral in Alabama (an Australian firm).There is "excess capacity" in naval shipyards due to low build rates. Profit margins are small, thus Northrop wants out of...(Read Full Post)