Navy Ships:

Status of SSN-21 and DDG-51 Programs

T-NSIAD-90-44: Published: May 22, 1990. Publicly Released: May 22, 1990.

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GAO discussed the status of the Navy's Seawolf attack submarine program, its combat system, and the Arleigh Burke class destroyer. GAO found that: (1) both programs are highly concurrent, where major subsystems are being developed while ships are under construction and several ships are being bought before the lead ships are operationally tested; (2) the Navy may be overusing concurrent development and production; (3) DOD can no longer afford to concurrently develop and procure high-cost systems without knowing early whether the desired capabilities can be demonstrated; (4) independently, each program consumes a large part of the Navy's shipbuilding budget; (5) changes in the world environment allow for less concurrency; and (6) declining defense budgets may greatly impact the Navy's plans for the systems. GAO believes that: (1) the changes in the national security environment may provide the opportunity to reduce concurrency in shipbuilding programs; and (2) affordability issues will require the Navy to make trade-off decisions.

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