The most frustrating experience Raytheon executives have had to deal with in recent years is the Navy’s decision to kill its next-generation DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer after only three vessels. Raytheon won the competition to build the ship’s electronic combat system, and by most accounts has done a good job. But the program shrank from dozens of planned warships to a mere three, seemingly foreclosing a breakthrough business opportunity.
However, all is not yet lost for the Massachusetts-based company, because defense secretary Robert Gates and the Navy decided to build all three Zumwalts at the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Maine. That means long after Secretary Gates has departed public service, when the third DDG-1000 has commenced construction, the New England congressional delegation is likely to line up in support of building a fourth (and a fifth) Zumwalt. With the hull built in Maine and the combat system developed in Rhode Island, the heavily Democratic regional delegation should have a lot of clout if Democrats still control Congress or the White House.
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