Taylor pushes shipyard upgrade

Published 10:02 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Mississippi congressman says Northrop Grumman should invest in its Pascagoula shipyard and upgrade it to become certified to build nuclear-powered ships.

U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., made the comments this week at a meeting in Ocean Springs.

Taylor said he doesn’t think defense spending will change when Barack Obama becomes president.

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The congressman, who is from Bay St. Louis and chairman of the House Armed Services sea power subcommittee, says he expects the shipbuilding budget will remain at about $14 billion.

Taylor said the Navy needs to buy nuclear-power ships even though they cost 10 percent more than conventionally powered ships.

He said nuclear power gives ships the electrical power that is needed, and will power the next generation of weapons, which will be energy-directed.