The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 requires that any budget request for construction of a new class of major combatant vessels will be for one with an integrated nuclear power system, unless the Secretary of Defense submits notification to Congress that it is not in the national interest to do so. The Navy's Next Generation Cruiser--CG(X)--is subject to this legislation. In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Navy's analysis of options for CG(X), including cost estimates related to building nuclear and conventional cruisers. GAO examined (1) the design concepts included in the CG(X) Analysis of Alternatives, (2) how each ship design concept addresses threats that cause capability gaps for maritime air and missile defense, and (3) how the Navy's methodology and assumptions affect its estimates of the relative costs for conventional and nuclear cruisers. To accomplish this, GAO analyzed CG(X) program documents, interviewed Navy and Department of Defense officials, and assessed the effect of alternative methodologies and assumptions on cost estimates. This letter is an unclassified summary of the classified report.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. The Secretary of Defense should require that the Navy, before finalizing Phase 2 of the Maritime Air and Missile Defense of Joint Forces Analysis of Alternatives, include present value analysis, alternative fuel scenarios, and analysis on the effect that a less efficient conventional propulsion system has on the cost estimates.|
|Department of Defense||2. The Secretary of Defense should require that the Navy include present value analysis and alternative fuel scenarios in any future analyses of the trade-off between conventional and nuclear propulsion.|