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DD-21 Zumwalt - Program

With the decommissioning of the last Iowa class battleship in 1992, the Navy was left with only the short-range (13 nautical miles2) 5-inch guns on destroyers and cruisers to provide naval surface fire support. According to the Navy, new and improved coastal defense systems deployed by potential adversaries required that Navy ships protect themselves by coming no closer than 25 nautical miles to shore, rendering the existing 5-inch guns ineffective for fire support.

The Navy's long-term surface combatant force requirements underwent an extensive review in 1997 as part of the 21st Century Surface Combatant (SC-21) analysis of alternatives. Force structure requirements were assessed in terms of warfighting capability, forward-presence objectives, historical operating tempos, and possible future contingencies. The analysis evaluated the types of ships and capabilities needed as replacements for retiring DD-963s and FFG-7s. Results from the analysis supported a decision to proceed first with a new combatant emphasizing capabilities to conduct land attacks and provide fire support to ground combat forces. This combatant has been identified as a Maritime Fire Support Ship (MFSS), designated DD-21. The FY1999 FYDP shifted funding for the lead DD-21 from FY 2003 to FY 2004, to allow more time to develop key technologies needed to reduce risk in the ship's design and development.

Congressional action on the FY 1998 budget reduced funding for the Arsenal Ship program substantially. The FY 1999 budget terminates the program. In addition to its use as a potential strike platform, the arsenal ship would have served as the maritime fire support ship demonstrator (MFSSD) for testing innovative concepts and new technologies that are being developed within the DD-21 program. The DD-21 program will now rely on land- and sea-based testing to reduce risks in developing these technologies on the DD-21. Funding previously earmarked for the MFSSD was realigned to other priorities in the FY 1999 budget and FYDP, which include accelerating the planned Aegis cruiser modernization program and procurement of CVN-77.

The DD 21s was to enter the Fleet as the Spruance (DD-963)-class destroyers (31 ships commissioned from 1975 to 1983) and the Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7)-class frigates (51 ships commissioned from 1977 to 1989) retire, sustaining the 116-ship surface combatant force level validated by the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review.

Beginning with the first ship award in 2004, the Navy planned to acquire 32 DD 21s at a rate of three ships per year, each with an expected service life of 35 years. The lead ship was initially expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2008, with subsequent production timed to coincide with the conclusion of production of the DDG-51 class. Under a revised schedule in late 2000, the first Ship of the Class was to be delivered in FY 2010, with an Initial Operating Capability of DD 21 to be achieved in FY 2011.

The DD 21 achieved Milestone I with the signing of the Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) by Dr. Gansler, USD (A&T), on 12 January 1998. The Navy released the DD 21 formal solicitation 24 March 1998 with proposals due 22 May 1998. This solicitation is unique in that it departs from using traditional Federal Acquisition Regulations and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation contract clauses. This approach will provide greater market competition for DD 21 development, increased industry innovation, and decreased Navy oversight in the early phases, among other advantages.

There were only two shipbuilders building the DDG 51 Class. The Navy believed that there are more than two shipbuilders capable of building future surface combatants. The shipyard concept is to have two shipbuilders on board for the completion of systems design (Phase III) and detailed design and construction of the DD 21 lead ship (Phase IV and V) so that both shipbuilders will have input in the design and both will have the knowledge to build DD 21's. The Navy desires long term shipbuilder competition throughout the 32 ship construction period.

The Navy established a new Program Executive Office (PEO) responsible for producing the DD 21 System including associated systems, which is organizationally independent and is focused on obtaining the most innovative design that meets the DD 21 Objectives. The DD 21 Collaborative Engineering Data Center (CEDC) is located at NSWCDD, Dahlgren, VA. The primary function of the CEDC is to provide a facility in which Industry can research government information and data. It is not a facility where analytical and engineering product development occur.

The innovative DD 21 acquisition strategy called for industry to propose independent designs that meet the challenging operational requirements and aggressive affordability goals. Since the Navy is specifying capabilities rather than specific systems, the exact configuration for DD 21 has yet to be determined.

The Navy desired to maximize industry innovative solutions for DD 21. Accordingly, there has been no determination to use DDG 51 designs, solutions, processes, systems or shipyards. Rumors to the contrary, the Navy states that there is no "DDG 51 Class Transition" program under which later DDG 51 class ships would be configured to accommodate DD 21 mission systems and would perhaps then evolve to become the DD 21 Class. There is no plan, proposal, or program under consideration that causes DDG 51 ships to meet DD 21 requirements. There is a DDG 51 baseline upgrade plan that incrementally improves DDG 51 systems in a time phased manner. These improvements are centered on currently planned upgrades included in Aegis Baseline 6 Phase III, Baseline 7 Phase I, Baseline 7 Phase II, and selected implementation of Smart Ship technologies. Some of these capabilities are planned for backfit into CG 47 class ships.

The Navy evaluated the benefits of incorporating other programs into this DD 21 acquisition, including the following:

  • Advanced Computing - 21 (ADCON-21)
  • Vertical Gun for Advanced Ships (VGAS)
  • Multi-function Radar (MFR)
  • Under Sea Warfare -21 (USW-21)
  • Naval Surface Fire Support Weapon Control System (NWCS)
  • Integrated Propulsion System (IPS)
  • Volume Search Radar (VSR)
  • Integrated Topside Design (ITD)

It was envisioned that the decision to incorporate some or all of these programs into the DD 21 acquisition will occur during Phase I, and will be implemented into each of the Contractor's agreement during the later part of Phase I or the beginning of Phase II.

The Navy incorporated the Maritime Fire Support Demonstrator (MFSD) lessons learned into the DD 21 program. This included transferring the MFSD contract deliverables and the bulk of the people working on MFSD to the DD 21 Program Office. Analysis of all three Maritime Fire Support Demonstrator proposals has been completed, and the good aspects of the program, of which there were many, are being incorporated in the DD 21 and CVX programs. The Navy incorporated the MFSD lessons learned into the DD 21 program. Besides transferring all of the contract deliverables and most of the personnel supporting the MFSD program to the DD 21 Program Office, the Navy also incorporated key MFSD precepts into the DD 21 acquisition strategy including:

  • Early industry involvement to reduce life-cycle costs and to focus contractor expertise on total ship integration.
  • The use of Section 845 contracting strategy to encourage Industry participation and innovation.
  • Employment of state-of-the-art engineering tools for Modeling and Simulation and Computer Aided Design (CAD) to explore the effects of alternative system characteristics on system performance and life cycle cost.
  • Extensive use of commercial components to meet the cost effectiveness requirements levied on the program.
  • Integration of industry risk mitigation techniques along with an appropriate mix of at-sea and land-based testing.
  • Use of "Cost as an Independent Variable" (CAIV) principles to ensure meeting the cost and affordability goals of the program.

The Navy completed a review of the MFSD industry team proposals, and determined that a significant number of the technical concepts used for MFSD were also applicable to DD 21. Two examples are revolutionary manning and signature reduction initiatives. Although the MFSD program was not afforded the opportunity to demonstrate these and other innovative technologies at sea, the effort pursued for MFSD supports the requirements levied upon for DD 21.

Cost is a key factor in the design of these ships. Projected shipbuilding budgets, declining operations and maintenance budgets, coupled with plans to recapitalize submarine, aircraft carrier, and logistics fleets in the early 21st Century dictate that DD 21 must be an affordable ship to build and operate. This led the Navy to seek, and find, new approaches to ship design and acquisition and apply them to DD 21. The DD 21 program is fostering increased industry involvement and enhanced opportunities for industry competition through use of innovative acquisition strategies and is currently considering use of Section 845/804 authority for the first portion of the DD 21 development process. The surface combatant acquisition community has been completely reorganized to allow for this, and the Navy's FY 2000 budget request will show a significant realignment of DD 21 funding request as the full effects of the revolutionary acquisition strategy for DD 21 take effect. Competitive industry involvement is critical to the success of this program, and the Navy is working closely with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to foster a competitive environment.

The cost savings that can be derived from the DD 21 class destroyers include

  • savings in construction costs that would result from achievement of the Navy's target per-ship cost of $750,000,000 by the fifth ship constructed in each construction yard;
  • savings that would result from the estimated reduction of the crews of destroyers by 200 or more personnel for each ship; and
  • savings that would result from a reduction in the operating costs for destroyers by an estimated 70 percent.

To implement Cost as An Independent Variable (CAIV) in order to achieve an Operations and Support (O&S) cost of $2,700 or less per hour underway and a production Objective/Threshold cost of $650/$750 million for the fifth DD 21 System in FY 96 dollars. For a year of ship operation, 3,274 hours are steaming hours underway and 1,886 hours are steaming hours in port, the remaining hours are hours in port in which "hotel" services are provided. For the $650/$750M targets, assumptions for the timing and procurement rates for buying these ships are a quantity of 32 DD 21s, at a rate of three per year beginning one year after the lead ship award.

In June 1998, teaming arrangements under which two competing total ship concepts and designs will be produced for DD 21. Bath Iron Works Corp. was selected by the DD 21 Alliance to lead the Alliance. Two competing teams will perform the work: the "blue team" led by Bath Iron Works with Lockheed Martin Government Electronics Systems and the "gold team" led by Ingalls Shipbuilding with Raytheon Systems Co. and United Defense Limited Partnership.

While on competing teams to determine a ship design and systems integrator, Ingalls and Bath will share equally in the construction of the ships, once a design is chosen from the two teams. Ingalls and Bath will lead the teams with their respective systems integrator partners, however, each shipyard will have a small contingent representation on the other's team. This process, the Navy said, is designed to ensure that efficiency and producibility during ship construction will be properly considered as part of the design process.

In July 1998 the Navy's Shipbuilder Alliance of Ingalls and Bath submited a detailed competition plan for the two competing teams and a proposal for the initial phase of the DD 21 program. In August 1998, the development program began with a Phase I, $68M Concept Design, 14 month Contract awarded to the DD 21 Alliance (General Dynamics Bath Iron Works/Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding). The DD 21 Alliance awarded subcontracts to both Shipbuilders for $34.5M each to Ingalls and Bath Iron Works Lead competing Gold and Blue Teams.

In November 1999, Follow-on Phase II contracts were awarded to both teams for development of an Initial System Design, including the Advanced Gun System, Multi-Function Radar, and Volume Search Radar. Phase II culminated in Blue and Gold Team Proposals in late 2000 for Down-select for One Full Service Contractor (FSC) Team for Phase III to Complete System Design in mid 2001.

At the end of the initial design period, the Navy will select one team's concept for continued development, design, and eventual ship production. The Phase III Proposal will include Priced Options for Phase IV, FY 2005 Detail Design and Construction of first four ships, and Phase V Initial Life Cycle Engineering and Support.

Contract award was planned for 2004 with delivery initially anticipated in 2008.

The Full Service Contractor (FSC) is the single industry entity responsible for defining, developing, and implementing cradle-to-grave services for DD 21 System, including design, production, support and disposal. This concept allows industry to capitalize on the design and production processes to optimize support (including modernization and upgrade) and to ensure that measurement mechanisms are in place to support data collection and analysis of DD 21 systems and FSC performance. This approach enables an incentive-based business relationship that provides rewards for maintaining system availability and improving performance, and penalizes failures of operational support.

The FSC concept centralizes responsibility and authority within one organization for the design, build, and support process of shipbuilding. This centralized approach enhances standardization, eliminates redundant activities, leverages learning curves, simplifies data acquisition and maintenance, streamlines processes and organization, and leverages the commercial infrastructure to reduce costs. Additionally, this approach helps implement the rightsizing of the support infrastructure.

The implementation of the FSC concept will also achieve efficiencies not present with the current acquisition, support and operations process. Obtaining these efficiencies will provide the optimum products and services within the forecasted budget constraints and shrinking organic support. This concept allows for maximum utilization of the Integrated Data Environment/Smart Product Model (IDE/SPM) providing industry the tools to design a producible and supportable DD 21 System and to balance acquisition goals and support goals, beginning with the early design and carrying through to disposal. Designation of responsibility and early industry involvement provide the incentives to optimize and balance all aspects of the FSC concept and yield improvements in performance in less time at less cost.

The FSC will serve as the single entry point for all system requirements for design, production, and support and will use the best processes and facilities available whether performed by industry, U.S. Navy, or other Government agencies.

According to the FY2001 Authorization Conference Report of 13 October 2000, it was the sense of Congress that there were compelling reasons for starting the program for constructing the DD 21 destroyer during fiscal year 2004 with available procurement funds and continuing with sequential construction of DD 21 class destroyers during the ensuing fiscal years until 32 DD 21 class destroyers have been constructed. The Report also noted that the establishment of a stable configuration for the first 10 DD 21 class destroyers should enable the construction of those ships with the greatest capabilities at the lowest cost.

The Secretary of Defense was directed to submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives, not later than April 18, 2001, a report on the Navy's plan for the acquisition and maintenance of DD 21 class destroyers, to include a discussion of:

  1. commencing construction of the first destroyer in the class during fiscal year 2004, with delivery of the completed ship during fiscal year 2009, and delaying commencement of construction of the next destroyer in that class until fiscal year 2006.
  2. commencing construction of the first destroyer in the class during fiscal year 2005 (rather than fiscal year 2004), with advance procurement during fiscal year 2004 and delivery of the completed ship during fiscal year 2010, and delaying commencement of construction of the next destroyer in that class until fiscal year 2007 (rather than fiscal year 2006).

On 01 November 2001 the Navy announced that it would issue a revised Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Future Surface Combatant Program. Formerly known as DD 21, the program will now be called "DD(X)" to more accurately reflect the program purpose, which is to produce a family of advanced technology surface combatants, not a single ship class. Instead of building the large DD 21 destroyer, the Navy may use the advanced technology on a full range of ships, including a downsized destroyer, an even smaller warship to operate in coastal waters, and a larger cruiser. One of the concerns about the DD-21 was that it was much larger than the current DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. Another concern [reportedly of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz] was that the Navy was investing too much in a ship primarily designed to accommodate the long-range Advanced Gun System. The House Appropriations Committee voted in October 2001 to cut funding for the DD-21 program by 75 percent.

The Navy subsequently restructured the program, which was renamed the DD-X. The new "downsized" destroyer was slated to displace 12,000 tons, instead of the 16,000 tons planned for the DD 21. This did not happen, and within a few years the DDG-1000 Zumwalt had re-emerged, little changed from the DD-21 Zumwalt.



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