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Congress protests DDG-100 cancellation

by: Matthew Potter
July 27, 2008

Category: Congress, development program, Federal Budget Process, General Dynamics, Maine, Massachusetts, Northrop Grumman Corp., production program, Restructuring, U.S. Navy | RSS 2.0

Recently the US Navy announced that it was not going to continue the DDG-100 program. Two ships are under construction by Northrop-Grumman and General Dynamics. Not unexpectedly the Senators from the affected states, mainly Massachusetts and Maine, have protested. See an article here. The major recent the Navy cites is the continued cost growth of the program. The first two were projected at under $4 B each, but now the estimates are over $5.5 B. Other than the shipbuilders, Raytheon is the most affected company as it was building the combat system of sensors for the ship. The Navy intends to continue production of the DDG-51 class instead. This illustrates two issues with defense programs. First, when you try to do a whole sale technology increase in one program the costs and schedule are hard to predict. The DDG-1000 was not only to have new systems but be stealthy and optimized for land attack missions. This required work on new hull design and materials. It also shows that no matter the reasons for ending a program the negative effect on some states will influence their representatives to interfere into a decision that should be made strictly on cost, schedule, and performance.

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