Thursday, May 31, 2012

CVN-78 Class Carrier: Other Shoe Drops on Radar Costs:

Everyone knew this was coming.

I got a 'head's up' it was 'here' at work today.

It was a conscious decision by the powers that be to break the linkage between the DDG-1000 and CVN-78 radar development and acquisition. You can read the whole report at the FAS (spit) site here, but the devil is in the footnotes on Page 9:
The information paper further states that of the $208 million in cost growth on the dual band radar, $54 million is a consequence of a decision to remove a part of the dual band radar on the Navy’s three Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyers, and the remaining $154 million is due to cost growth in CVN-78-unique installation, integration, and test requirements for the dual band radar. For more on the decision to remove a part of the dual band radar on the DDG-1000 destroyers, see CRS Report RL32109 Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress, by Ronald O'Rourke.
If you are a tech history devotee as I am, look at the earlier versions of the CVN-78 report. they've been noting there would be additional costs from splitting the DDG-1000 and CVN-78 efforts for some time. This is the first time we're seeing numbers attached to the change. What we don't know is 1. What will the final 'tab' for the split effort be? and 2. What costs have increased that are now 'unique' but could have been 'shared' if the commonality had survived (for either/both class of ships)?

Note that I do not question whether or not the change was 'wise'. Some change is necessary and has benefits worth the costs to the users.  I only note these are the kind of cost increases that 'changing minds' generate, and we have no idea how many of the other costs are due to 'changes' in direction. 

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