Status of the Navy's New Seawolf Attack Submarine and Its New Combat System

Gao ID: T-NSIAD-90-36 April 26, 1990

GAO discussed the status of the Navy's Seawolf attack submarine and AN/BSY-2 combat system programs. GAO noted that: (1) both multimillion dollar programs were scheduled for major Department of Defense (DOD) reviews; (2) the Navy planned to concurrently develop and produce the submarine and the combat system; (3) previous GAO reports about the two programs identified problems involving affordability, concurrency, developmental testing, technical challenges, management attention, cost increases, schedule slippages, and technology transfer; (4) the Navy planned to contract for the development of as many as 15 submarines before the first ship became available for operational testing; (5) although DOD reported that combat system development had a low performance and schedule risk, and only a moderate cost risk, the large quantity of software required for system development could place the program at a high risk; (6) the Navy based its submarine construction plan on several assumptions that it might not be able to achieve, involving an increase in shipbuilding funds, reduced average construction time, and no cost overruns; and (7) the Navy's submarine program could consume up to 36 percent of its shipbuilding budget.

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