Thursday, December 19, 2019

DDG-1000 - Worse Than Even I Predicted ... No, It's That Bad

Ten and a half years ago, I wrote this about DDG-1000;
Wait until all those new systems being thrown on that ship need to be validated, updated, adjusted, etc.

Yes, the costs of throwing all your revolution in one bucket will leave you gobsmacked. DDG-1000: the story that will keep on giving.
Change in DDG-1000 Mission Orientation

Another potential oversight issue for Congress for FY2019 concerns the Navy’s plan to shift the mission orientation of the DDG-1000s from an emphasis on NSFS to an emphasis on surface strike. Potential oversight questions for Congress include the following:
- What is the Navy’s analytical basis for shifting the ships’ mission orientation?
- What are the potential costs of implementing this shift? How much of these costs are in the Navy’s FY2019 budget submission?
- How cost-effective will it be to operate and support DDG-1000s as ships with an emphasis on surface strike?
- When does the Navy plan to decide on whether to procure a replacement munition for the ships’ AGSs, or instead pursue another option, such as removing the AGSs and their below-deck equipment and installing additional VLS tubes? What would be the cost of the latter option, and how many additional VLS tubes could be installed?
- If the ships will operate with their AGSs for the most part dormant, to what degree will that reduce the return on investment (ROI) involved in developing, procuring, operating, and sporting the DDG-1000s?
When I mention "technology risk" - what do I mean?
Technology Maturity and Design Stability 
The DDG 1000 program has fully matured most, but not all, of its nine current critical technologies and reports a stable design. According to the Navy, the fire suppression system, hull form, deckhouse, power system, and undersea warfare suite technologies are all mature. At the same time, the vertical launch system, infrared signature, multi-function radar, and total ship computing environment technologies each continue to approach maturity. The Navy expects to fully mature these systems as it completes ship construction, certification, and testing over the next 2 years.
The program originally had 12 critical technologies, but in the last several years, the Navy removed three, including two technologies associated with the advanced gun system—the projectile and the gun—because of the projectile’s high cost per round. The Navy planned to rely on these munitions for precision fires and offensive operations. Following an evaluation of five other munition options, the Navy determined that no viable replacement, guided or unguided, was feasible. As a result, the guns will remain inoperable on the ships for the foreseeable future. Lastly, the Navy will use a modified multi-function radar in place of a volume search radar, which the Navy removed from the class.

As we have previously reported, the Navy and its shipbuilders had not stabilized DDG 1000’s design by lead ship fabrication start in 2009—an approach inconsistent with best practices. This approach contributed to numerous design changes after the fabrication start and significant cost increases and schedule delays. Nearly 10 years later, development and shipboard testing of technologies continues, each of which could lead to discovery that could disrupt the design stability the Navy currently claims.
The Navy plans to complete software development for the class in September 2020—a delay of 24 months since our 2018 assessment. As a result, the Navy has had to delay some testing. Also that month, the program plans to complete its cyber security vulnerability evaluation along with the remainder of a 2-year regimen of certifications and several different tests. The Navy expects this regimen to demonstrate the full functionality of the ship’s systems.
Remember, we were going to build 3-dozen of these white elephants ... and yet, here they sit.

$13.2 billion for three ships.

Who has been held account for this disaster of a program, one many of us wanted killed for obvious reasons well over a decade ago? No one, of course. The guilty have actually been promoted and rewarded.

Such are the wages of unaccountable hubris in acquisition.

Read the entire report that came out the 17th.

H/t NavalAnalysis.

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