Each sub to cost taxpayers $4.9 billion or more.Lee Hudson, Inside Defense
7 November 2016
The Navy's top acquisition priority -- the Ohio-class Replacement Submarine -- is on hold to pass its next major milestone decision until the program office works through two data points to satisfy the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer, according to multiple sources.
On Nov. 4, a Defense Acquisition Board meeting was held for the next-generation ballistic submarine program to clear milestone B. Once approved, the Navy can transition from technology maturation and risk reduction into engineering and manufacturing development.
However, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall directed the Navy to complete two items before signing an acquisition decision memorandum. The first task is rebaselining cost estimates from fiscal year 2010 dollars to FY-17 dollars, according to sources.
Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, program executive officer for submarines, said during his Oct. 26 presentation at the Naval Submarine League that once the Office of the Secretary of Defense approves milestone B, an updated cost estimate would be released.
"I am very confident we will be closer to that $4.9 billion number than the $5.6 billion number" for follow-on ships. The cost estimate Jabaley referenced is in FY-10 dollars. The service's cost target for each follow-on boat is $4.9 billion.
The second hurdle for the Navy is getting further along with negotiations for the detailed design and construction contract with General Dynamics Electric Boat, according to sources.
Shortly after an ADM is signed, the Navy will award a contract to Electric Boat. This changes the funding stream for the Navy from research and development to procurement dollars.
Sources estimate this could take at least a couple of weeks and it is likely an ADM will not be signed until December.
The Navy did not respond to a request for comment by press time.