Avondale Ally

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Avondale Ally. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) spells out options for extending the life of Northrop Grumman’s Avondale shipyard near New Orleans in a July 15 letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. Louisiana lawmakers are fighting Northrop Grumman’s plans to stop work at Avondale in 2013 after building two LPD-class amphibious ships there, and want two more of the amphibious vessels to be built there. Landrieu also appeals to Mabus to speed up the Navy’s plans to buy double-hulled oilers that can replace the service’s single- hulled T-AO 187 Class Fleet Oilers. Avondale, she says, thus could "produce a vessel the Navy currently needs." The International Maritime Organization requires double-hulled large tankers, but the Navy has a waiver to operate the single-hulled versions. "The 30-Year Shipbuilding Plan would not remedy this problem until 2017," Landrieu writes. "That is too long to wait. The recent oil spill in the Gulf highlights the damage that can occur from oil pollution."