Magazine article National Defense

Deepwater Program to Pursue Foreign Sales. (Washington Pulse)

Magazine article National Defense

Deepwater Program to Pursue Foreign Sales. (Washington Pulse)

Article excerpt

Within days of awarding a $17 billion contract to build a new fleet of Deepwater ships and aircraft for the Coast Guard, the U.S. government embarked upon an effort to sell the same platforms to allies around the world.

The Coast Guard is betting that many nations will be interested in its new assets. Most countries have navies that are more like the U.S. Coast Guard than our Navy, said Rear Adm. Patrick Stillman, program executive officer of the Integrated Deepwater Program. They operate primarily along their coasts, and they sail relatively inexpensive, small ships, nor aircraft carriers or nuclear submarines, he said.

For this reason, U.S. Navy ships increasingly do not meet other countries' needs, said James Jochum, assistant commerce secretary for export administration. Since the end of the Cold War, foreign orders for U.S. warships have dropped 60 percent, he said. During the past five years alone, U.S. shipyards have lost 5,000 jobs.

U.S. officials hope that the Deepwater program will begin to turn this around, and the initial response has been good. Just two days after the contract was announced in late June, a conference sponsored by NDIA and the Navy's International Programs Office--which is helping the Coast Guard market Deepwater-attracted representatives from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden. …

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