DD-X Program - 2005
The Navy's FY05 budget requested funding for the first of eight new DDX destroyers by 2009, to be built by Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Co. The National Defense Authorization Act for FY05, authorized $1.5 billion for the DD(X) destroyer program, including the $221.1 million requested by President Bush for detail design and advanced construction of the lead ship and an additional $99.4 million for detail design of the second ship.
In early 2005 some with the Department of Defense suggested a recompetition of DD(X) as a short-term cost reduction strategy. Senator Trent Lott [R-MS] strongly objected to this suggestion, indicating that delays would cost American taxpayers much more throughout the DD(X) program's life cycle. He further indicated that the DD(X) program was crucial to retaining America's shipbuilding capacity. He said without the DD(X) program, American shipyards could face closure which could result in America being put into the unenviable position of asking foreign shipyards to construct America's Navy or Coast Guard vessels. The Navy responded by awarding two preliminary contracts for DD(X) planning including efforts to prepare the DD(X) radar test facility and completion of the engineering development model and the critical design review methods.
Tests of the peripheral vertical launch system led to a redesign effort. Tests to determine the suitability of the new design were completed in June 2005. The integrated deckhouse and apertures development model began testing for antenna placement and radar cross section. Questions about the properties of the proposed component materials had delayed production of an article for fire and shock testing.
The US Navy successfully achieved a significant milestone for the multimission DD(X) destroyer with the completion of a system-wide Critical Design Review (CDR) on 14 September 2005. The review represented the culmination of years of design effort that encompassed the ship, mission system, human and shore designs that comprised DD(X).
The completion of CDR marked the end of Phase III development, which resulted in the design, construction and test of 10 engineering development models (EDM) that would potentially make DD(X) the Navy's most capable multimission surface combatant ever constructed. The Navy and National Team were said to have accomplished the most thorough ship design and integration process in the history of Navy shipbuilding.
DD(X) CDR reflected a disciplined, rigorous process of risk mitigation in 10 EDMs. CDRs for each of the 10 EDMs have achieved both technical maturity as well as significant cost insight. Completion of the ship CDR was the culmination of three years of work executed on schedule and within one percent of stated budget.
The National Team and Navy achieved an unprecedented level of system design integration to deliver a design that provided the required warfighting capability. The DD(X) program matured the systems needed to build this class, and laid the basis to proceed to Milestone B and begin detail design and construction.
In November 2005, the Department of Defense granted Milestone B approval, authorizing entrance into Phase IV of the program, including the detail design and construction of the two lead ships. On 28 November 2005 Kenneth Kreig, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition signed the final document needed to proceed with production of the groundbreaking DD(X) destroyer. The signing of the Destroyer Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) was the last major milestone needed before the Navy could proceed with detailed design for the ship and procure actual material for ship construction. Until signing of this memo the Navy had not officially moved forward with provisions to acquire materials or delineated how many ships would be initially constructed. The memo specifically approved a low rate initial production quantity of eight ships. There remained only one procedural review before construction could actually commence. However the review was essentially a routine one that would reconcile Navy and DoD individual program cost estimates and establishes testing requirements for the ship.
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