WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Congressman Rob Wittman, R-Va., today commended the Navy on its plan to pursue a block buy in FY2019 for the next two Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers. Wicker and Wittman serve as Chairmen of the Senate and House subcommittees that oversee the Navy and Marine Corps.
“The bottom line is that this block buy will save billions for taxpayers, and the Navy is now on an accelerated timeline to meet its 12-carrier requirement,” Sen. Wicker said. “I want to congratulate Secretary Spencer and his team for their bold leadership on setting this plan in motion. They have my full support, and I am confident that America’s world-class shipbuilders and suppliers are up to the task.”
“The RFP released by the Navy today is a great step towards strengthening the Fleet. A dual procurement allows the U.S. Navy to build to a fleet of 12 aircraft carriers more quickly as prescribed by the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act – which established that the Navy should maintain 355 ships, including 12 aircraft carriers,” Rep. Wittman said. “This dual buy would be beneficial to both the taxpayers and to our maritime industrial base as it shows that Congress is committed to the thousands of workers who build and maintain aircraft carriers every day. Smart acquisition has the potential to save $2.5 billion. We need to give the Fleet the ships it needs to meet the challenges of today and prepare for the threats of tomorrow.”
Wicker and Wittman are the authors of the “Securing the Homeland by Increasing our Power on the Seas (SHIPS) Act,” which made it the official policy of the United States to achieve the Navy’s requirement of 355 ships. President Trump signed the bill into law last year.
In December 2017, Wicker led an effort in the Senate encouraging Defense Secretary James Mattis to implement the block buy that was announced today.