Status of the Navy's New Seawolf Attack Submarine and its New Combat Systems

Gao ID: T-NSIAD-90-38 July 24, 1990

GAO discussed the status of the Navy's new Seawolf nuclear attack submarine (SSN-21) program and its AN/BSY 2 combat system. GAO found that: (1) one shipyard is responsible for the submarine's overall design under a $343-million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, and another shipyard is designing the engine room and its equipment under a $212-million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract; (2) AN/BSY 2 is critical to the submarine achieving full mission and performance capabilities, and the Navy has no alternate planned should the AN/BSY 2 be delayed; (3) to meet its planned delivery data of May 1995, the SSN-21 program is using a concurrent scheduling approach; (4) current plans call for as many as 15 ships to be on contract or under construction before the first ship is available for operational testing; (5) the SSN-21 construction schedule is driving the development and production schedule of its combat system; (6) DOD has reported that the combat system program is a low performance and schedule risk but a moderate cost risk; (7) SSN-21 is to be built using modular construction techniques; and (8) the Navy wants to buy 29 submarines by 2000 at an estimated cost of about $44 billion, but fiscally constrained budgets may not allow Navy to buy all 29.

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