Procurement: January 28, 2001


America has only one shipyard that can build aircraft carriers; Newport News Shipyard. Not surprisingly, the yard is not very efficient, does poor work and appears to be well aware of the fact that it would cost a lot of money to establish a competing yard. Currently, carriers cost $5 billion and take five years to build. Part of the problem is that these yards are operating at about half their capacity. Originally built for cold war rates of production, warship building has declined and the yards have not been able to obtain other business to utilize their excess capacity. But the biggest problem is that, lacking competition, the warship yards have little incentive to economize. Congress can threaten, but there's not much that can be done. 


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