Monday, November 03, 2008

As MTH would say: PAIN!!!!

The wages of Happy Talk, arrogance, FoodTroughism - and a failure to lead in a credible way.

Navy - we asked for it.
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) has asked the Navy to provide him data comparing costs between the DDG-51 and DDG-1000 as well as documentation supporting the Navy's assertion that the plan to restart the Arleigh Burke class of destroyers would be budget neutral.

Because of the questions surrounding the Navy's decision to go back to DDG-51, which, according to service officials, were based on rapid changes in the global security environment that outstripped the capability set that DDG-1000 was designed to combat, Kennedy is asking for an "apples-to-apples" comparison of the two destroyers.

"I believe this would entail providing complete cost data on a DDG-51, as envisioned by the Navy after restart of the production line, and on a DDG-1000 that has modifications the Navy believes are critical to perform the ballistic missile defense (BMD), area-defense anti-air warfare and blue-water anti-submarine warfare missions driving the Navy's desire to shift between platforms," Kennedy said in an Oct. 24 letter to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead.

The Navy should provide cost estimates that assume: improvements are made to the dual band radar only as necessary to give the ship capabilities comparable to the radar envisioned for restarted DDG-51s; and improvements are made that would reflect a growth path to greater capability while the Navy is waiting on the CG(X) program, Kennedy added.

Additionally, Kennedy questions the Navy's assertion that the plan to restart DDG-51 production would be budget neutral.

"Even if that were the case, it is not clear to me that the 'budget neutral' plan is neutral when it comes to funding the workload necessary to support the surface combatant industrial base," he said. "Therefore, I would like to see how many DDG-51s you plan to procure, budget quality estimates for that plan, what effect that plan would have on the surface combatant industrial base, and any associated termination costs while the Navy waits to begin building the CG(X) in 2017," Kennedy said.

The Massachusetts senator also noted that a number of questions have yet to be answered in regard to the Navy's decision to cap production of DDG-1000 and restart the DDG-51 line.

According to Kennedy, Congress has yet to see:

  • intelligence analysis reflecting the coordinated assessment of the Defense Intelligence Agency supporting these changes to the mix of platforms;
  • validation of this shift that is supported by reviews by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council for an Acquisition Category I program;
  • an approved acquisition strategy for cruisers and destroyers that supports the approved requirements baseline and is consistent with the previous Navy studies on what investment is required to support the surface combatant industrial base;
  • evidence that potential changes in the shipbuilding program reflect: modeling and simulation, including war gaming conclusions regarding combat effectiveness; assessments of platform operational availability; and cost savings or penalties from changed vessel manning levels to accomplish missions;
  • verification by the commanders of the combatant commands that the Navy's currently preferred program would be better than the Navy's previously preferred shipbuilding program in meeting their future mission requirements.
Additionally, Kennedy noted that Congress has also yet to see any analysis to support the Navy's contention that DDG-51 will offer greater ballistic missile defense, advanced anti-ship cruise missile defense, and blue-water anti-submarine warfare capabilities, and that the service couldn't afford to make DDG-1000 capable of supporting the same missions.
Hat tip Mike.

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