WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine, Ranking Member on the Senate Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, and a member of the Seapower Subcommittee, and Mark Warner released the following statements after the Navy released a request for proposal (RFP) to Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News to inform a potential block buy of two Ford-class aircraft carriers:
“After years of advocating for the Navy to block-buy carriers, I welcome today's news that they are moving closer to making it a reality,”Kaine said. “Paired with our efforts to secure a two-year budget deal, we are finally making smart moves to provide much-needed long-term stability to the entire region, save taxpayer dollars, and strengthen our national defense. The Navy's announcement today is also a result of the tireless work by the men and women of Newport News Shipbuilding who produce the best ships in the world.”
“I am pleased with the Navy’s decision to finally move forward in considering a block buy of two aircraft carriers, something I have been encouraging for some time,” Warner said. “This step would increase predictability and stability for our suppliers, including the men and women of the Newport News shipbuilding, as well as generate significant costs savings for U.S. taxpayers. It is critical that the Navy have access to the next-generation of warships for the world’s challenges while also being responsible in how they procure and budget.”
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Kaine has advocated for the block-buy of carriers to save costs and help the nation meet its military readiness goals. In December, Kaine led a letter with U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Warner, and 14 of their colleagues encouraging Secretary of Defense James Mattis to support the block-buy of two Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers in FY2019.