Thursday, July 26, 2007

A “culture of over-optimism”

Not how you would describe CDR Salamander….

Anyway, the title of this post comes from the best SECNAV we have had in, well, almost all my career. I prefer “Happy Talk” myself, but
this does sound more professional.
The CBO report follows warnings in April by Navy Secretary Donald Winter that a "culture of over-optimism" among shipbuilders and bureaucracy within the Navy is fostering distrust between Congress and the service and could jeopardize the Navy's future shipbuilding appropriations.
The non partisan Congressional Budget Office said the service will need annual shipbuilding budgets averaging nearly $21 billion between 2008 and 2037 to buy the 293 ships in its shipbuilding plan. That's about one-third more per year than the Navy's projected shipbuilding budgets, CBO said.
That plus-up isn’t going to happen. If we do not change towards new, off-the-shelf platforms of DDG-51 or European baseline, or something domestic along the FFG-7 development concept (fast, cheap, directive and “good-enough”) - then we are heading to a fleet of 210 sooner more than later because…..
In a report to a House subcommittee, CBO said the Navy has underestimated the cost of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, first in a new series of flattops, by about $1 billion.

The likely to cost about $11 billion, CBO said.
Neither CBO's new projections nor the Navy's cost estimates on the Ford include about $4 billion already spent on research and development for the new class of carriers.
..and stand-by,
Plus, the cost could run higher, as the first ship in a new series typically is more expensive than those that follow because shipbuilders are working out kinks in the design, shipbuilding experts say.
CBO said the Navy also has set its cost targets too low on the new Zumwalt-class destroyer, a planned series of cruisers known as CG(X), Virginia-class attack submarines, and a new series of amphibious assault ships, among other ships.
How did we get here? Simple; a lack of accountability combined with a “culture of over-optimism.”

More heads on pikes please.

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