The U.S. Navy intends to award contracts for its LPD-31 amphibious warfare ship over the next few days to prevent disruptions in the defense industrial base amid the coronavirus pandemic, National Defense Magazine reported Wednesday.
James Geurts, the Navy’s assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition and a 2020 Wash100 winner, said during a teleconference that the accelerated schedule for the LPD-31 transport dock and landing craft utility vessels will provide flexibility for the service and its contractors.
He added that the accelerated awards also cover research and development work done by small businesses, academic entities, startups and other entities to prevent obstacles to deploying crucial Navy technology in five to 10 years.
According to Geurts, the Navy plans to address potential delays at the supply-chain level and conduct assessments on whether suppliers have the capacity to meet deadlines.
“Our ability to move and accelerate work into the defense base, and then have that be pushed out to the suppliers is absolutely critical because if they’re not there it won’t matter when we’re ready to recover,” noted Geurts. “We need to make sure they’re healthy and ready to roll as we accelerate out of recovery.”