Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Define "affordable"

Press releases (or articles that don't do any intellectual rigor and quote press releases) never sense to be a source of great amusement to me.
DDG 1000's affordable and flexible design, unmatched stealth and precision volume strike make this ship an important asset to the U.S. warfighter.
That is just funny. Here is the truth.
The Navy's new multi mission DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer, for instance, is slated to get 10 new technologies, featuring automated damage-control systems, advanced guns and sophisticated launch systems for Tomahawk and land-attack missiles. As its design has evolved, the ship's estimated cost has tripled from the original $1 billion. (NB: that is ~$3 billion)

Critics question whether so much capability is needed for a single ship. "They make them incredibly expensive before they've even started to build them," said Tim Colton, an industry consultant in Delray Beach, Fla. "The Navy needs to think in terms of smaller and simpler."
Why the disconnect? Because some people have not been fired yet.
Allison Stiller, the Navy's deputy assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition, said the service designs ships based on its assessment of future enemy threats.

"I don't see this as we're over designing our ships," she said. "From the acquisition side, it looks to me that we are setting the requirements adequately to pace the threat."
Heads; pikes. Some assembly required.

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