Updated and Bumped 5/17: Update at Bottom of Original PostIf a 'Cynic' is "A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
What 'kind' of 'Cynic' is "A man who knows the price of one thing and the value of nothing.”?
Original Post"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings
With the high drama now playing out (or drumming up?) over the LCS program, in particular the raking over of Lockheed Martin's LCS 1, I thought about 'what is different?' about the LCS? Which led me to then ask myself: What was going on with the last so-called ship building 'disaster' that was burned at the stake by a polygot mob of the uninformed and inexperienced, including the usual villagers with pitchforks?
That would be, for the folks not taking time to follow the links, the USS San Antonio (LPD 17).
|USS San Antonio (US Navy Photo)|
SUCCESS is what happened.The same thing that happens 99+% of the time.
The USS San Antonio was awarded the "Battle E" in March for being especially effective:
San Antonio was recognized for superior performance over the past year, and for several significant achievements, displaying excellence in maritime warfare capabilities, engineering/survivability, command and control, and the type commander's Safety Award.
The Battle E award is based on a yearlong overall evaluation of San Antonio accomplishments during training exercises, various command inspections and nomination by their immediate superior in command COMPHIBRON 4.
"It's all of you that are making this ship succeed," said Capt. Peter Pagano, commander, COMPHIBRON 4, during a morning all-hands call aboard San Antonio. "It's the officers, chiefs and Sailors on this ship, down to the most junior seaman that will continue to do so through INSURV (Board of Inspection and Survey assessment scheduled to begin April 23). You all should be very proud to be San Antonio Sailors."
Eligibility for the award required a consistent day-to-day demonstration of excellence and superior achievement during all certifications and qualifications conducted following departure from the shipyard last year.
San Antonio may now display the big white letter "E" with the black shadow on its super structure along several other awards as a testament to the focus, teamwork, pride and ownership demonstrated throughout a rigorous maintenance and basic phase.Anybody hear about this at the major 'defense' news sites? Anyone? The only 'commercial' newsy site that I recognized in the first three pages of a Google search was 'Soldier of Fortune'.
Designers build in the capability. The people who 'maintain' and 'operate' bring that capability out. As always.Many of the so-called 'reform' crowd are likely to either take partial credit for the turn-around or decry the time and effort it took to get the San Antonio to this point (or both). For MOST of them, a new favorite ( I think I'll be using it a lot more this year) quote applies:
Novices in mathematics, science, or engineering are forever demanding infallible, universal, mechanical methods for solving problems.-J. R. PierceThe few non-novices in the minority of the 'reform' crowd SHOULD simply know better. That they do not is just....sad.
Updated 17 May @ 2230 Hrs CSTFrom the 'comments':
Hundreds of millions of dollars over budget, the San Antonio has cost nearly $2 billion. "On a per-ton basis, it is the most expensive amphibious vessel ever built for the military" - CBO report.Let's accept the unit costs offered by the commenter, as they're close enough to the latest (and last!) LPD (San Antonio Class) program Selected Acquisition Report (SAR). The actual figure found there is $1.710827B per hull, (see Acquisition Cost extract below) but we'll allow a mulligan for the rounding up ~$79M to get the $1.8B claim. Fine.
In addition to the $1.8 billion original price tag, the Navy paid at least $50 million for repairs. The service won't disclose the actual amount as it is still being negotiated with Northrop Grumman and other contractors.
Yay. What an amazing success
|2011 LPD Program Selected Acquisition Report: Acquisition Costs|
But 'Acquisition Costs' are only part of the cost side of the equation. In fact they're usually only about 1/3 of the costs to be considered. Sustainment is the other 2/3 of the cost, and the biggest chunk of that is operation and support (O&S) costs. So what about the San Antonio Class O&S costs?
Fortunately, the O&S costs are also included in the 2011 SAR:
|2011 LPD 17 Class SAR: O&S Cost Estimate|