Wednesday, April 04, 2007

SECNAV gets it on shipbuilding

Reader Mike sent on an article by Geoff Fein titled "Navy Needs To Define Its Needs, Examine Contract Options, SECNAV Says" that I can't find online. Too bad, it is good news for those who have been waiting for Big Navy to say "ouch" from the ClueBat that LCS, LPD-17, and DDG-1000 have been wacking its nogg'n with.
One problem for the Navy is that over the years it has lost its "domain knowledge and understanding" and has attempted, in many cases, to pull more of that capability from industry than it has in the past, Winter said.

"[We're] asking industry to come up with solutions, as opposed to going in and saying 'we want a ship of this type and this design with these features and capabilities,'" he explained. "We've had a tendency to depend upon industry to optimize those configurations."

The Navy has to define what it wants for the future, Winter asserted.

"It's the Navy's fleet, it's not a contractor's fleet, and ships, for the most part, don't operate by themselves. Ships operate with other ships whether it is a CSG (Carrier Strike Group) or ESG (Expeditionary Strike Group) or any operations, and it's just not other ships, it's aircraft and other systems that support them," Winter said. "I think we have to go back and reassert the Navy's role in terms of defining what it is we are, we also have to develop ... re-develop, the ability to manage the contractors."

There has been a theme in the Pentagon, for many years, that says the services just have to outsource...let the contractors do it...competitive pressures will take care of everything, Winter said.
On every point he is exactly right. It will take awhile to turn this ship around - but that is the a very firm rudder command - let's see if the Lee Helmsman responds.

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