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Navy League 2024: Findings from shipbuilding review spur US Navy secretary to seek foreign aid

A recent US Navy shipbuilding review of carrier, submarine, and other major projects noted significant programmatic issues. (Janes/Michael Fabey)

Rocked by results of a recently completed shipbuilding study lambasting progress on new aircraft carriers, submarines and other major US Navy (USN) programmes, USN Secretary Carlos Del Toro is looking elsewhere for advice and examples to improve USN shipbuilding efforts.

“As the findings of the 45-day comprehensive shipbuilding review have underscored, too many of our industry partners are behind schedule and over budget on our highest priority programmes,” Del Toro said on 9 April during a keynote speech at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space 2024 global maritime exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.

For more information about the review, please seeUS Navy seeks to address major programme delays caused by shipbuilding's new normal of worker and supply shortages .

“We build the most capable warships in the world in shipyards that are decades behind the global technological standard,” Del Toro said. “This is an inefficient approach requiring far too much time, workforce, and taxpayers' dollars. It is certainly an approach that is wholly inadequate to pace our 21st century competitors.”

“Our Korean and Japanese allies build high-quality ships, including Aegis destroyers, for a fraction of the cost that we do. When my team and I went to South Korea, we were floored at the level of digitisation and real-time monitoring of shipbuilding progress, with readily available information down to individual pieces of stock materials,” he added.

“Their top executives could tell us – to the day – when ships would be delivered. It's an ethos, a commitment to constant improvement that is the foundation of their reputation for consistently delivering on time [and] on budget – even during [the] Covid[-19 pandemic],” he continued.

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