Former shipyard president optimistic with consolidation plan - - The News for South Mississippi

Former shipyard president optimistic with consolidation plan


By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Former Pascagoula shipyard president Jerry St. Pé sees a bright future for shipbuilding in Mississippi. He says Northrop Grumman's desire to sell is shipbuilding division is not the worst move. 

When he heard about Northrop Grumman's future plans, he was not really surprised.

"Anybody that has been following the shipbuilding business, that decision came after a thorough understanding that at one time, 15 years ago, the Navy was headed to a 600 ship Navy. Now, the fleet is under 300 ships."

St. Pé is optimistic the Gulf Coast yards have the ability and flexibility to adapt to the unpredictable market. 

"We have in this state and this community probably 50 percent of this country's capacity to build surface and un-nuclear surface vessels."  

St. Pé doesn't want South Mississippians to feel Northrop Grumman is turning its back on Mississippi. He said the company's new plan is simply the nature of the business.

"I would like the shipyard to continue to be in the ownership of a corporation, a private ownership that is committed, as Northrop has been, long term to shipbuilding." 

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