DDG-51 Arleigh Burke - Service Life Extension
The Secretary of the Navy's fiscal year 2008 report to Congress on the long-range plan for construction of naval vessels identified the requirement to extend the service life of the DDG-51 class to 40 years in order to meet surface combatant force structure requirements. However, additional planning and funding to accomplish this extended service life is not included in the budget request. The 2008 Navy report to Congress on DDG modernization indicated that the Navy staff had reviewed a concept that would achieve favorable results for each of the program attributes outlined in the report. The Navy report identified using the multi-ship, multi-option (MSMO) contracts as the preferred approach for conducting the DDG modernization. The MSMO contracts are contracts for maintenance efforts on Navy ships that are conducted in the ships' homeport area.
By mid-2008 the Senate Armed Services Committee viewed the Navy's plan to operate the DDG-51 class for a full 40 years to be very high risk, based on recent history of 20-25 year service life for surface combatants [however, these were early retirements done to make way for newly built DDG-51s]. Additional fiscal year 2009 DDG-51 modernization procurement funding would support critical planning, engineering, and procurement activities for service life extension alterations. The committee recommends an increase of $25.0 million in OPN for the DDG-51 modernization program.
It was not apparent to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Navy had seriously evaluated conducting the modernization program at the shipyards where the DDG-51s were built, or a so-called `building yard' approach. Further, upon reviewing the Navy's basis for determining that MSMO contracts would be more suitable for executing the DDG modernization program, the committee cannot find that the Navy has established measures of effectiveness and appropriate cost control mechanisms to maximize the benefits promised by MSMO contract maintenance strategies. The magnitude of this investment, coupled with the critical need for this modernization effort, warranted a thorough assessment of the considerations leading to the Navy's selection of an acquisition strategy.
Accordingly, the Senate Armed Services Committee directed the Secretary of the Navy to submit a DDG-51 modernization acquisition strategy report to the congressional defense committees with the fiscal year 2010 budget request. The report should include a plan to execute a pilot project that would accomplish the full scope of DDG-51 hull, mechanical and electrical, and combat system maintenance and modernization in a single availability executed at one of the building yards. Such plan shall include a detailed quantitative and qualitative assessment of each of the acquisition strategy and availability execution considerations addressed by the Navy's 2008 report on DDG modernization. The report shall also provide a quantitative and qualitative comparison of this building yard plan with the Navy's plan to execute DDG modernization within a MSMO contract framework.