“Why a small shipyard merger could signal bigger problems for the US military” –Breaking Defense

Polar Security Cutter. Image credit VT Halter Marine.

Breaking Defense reports,

“…there are factors specific to Halter Marine that may have made it ripe for takeover. But analysts told Breaking Defense that the merger may be a bellwether for further shipyard consolidation, limiting the Navy’s options at a time when the service is trying to grow its fleet. It’s an eventuality the Navy could forestall, if only it could get its own shipbuilding plans in order.

I would agree that the Navy needs to get their shipbuilding act together. Shipbuilding is an unreliable business in the US unless you are one of the five major shipyards that the Navy regularly deals with, but I believe this particular merger is what it is, a case of a badly managed capability being taken over by a better management team, one that has been delivering cutters like clockwork, on time and on budget, even after being hit by a hurricane. All to the good. There is no loss of building capacity. In fact, included in the deal are two shipyards that are corrently lying dormant.

I don’t see any reduction in capacity. In fact, it is likely to result in increased productivity.

Thanks to Walter for prompting me to respond to this. 

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