Super-carriers may be cheaper than building the same amount of aircraft and mission capacity via smaller carriers, but they aren’t cheap. Just how expensive, however, has recently become an item of some debate. Speciality publications like GovExec.com, and mainstream media papers as well, have put forward figures of $13.7-14 billion for the CVN-21 Class. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter [R-CA] has been quoted giving similar figures.
In the wake of DID’s anchor article covering the new carriers, Pat Dolan of NAVSEA got in touch with DID to protest those figures. She made a solid case, some minor changes were made, and DID began asking a slew of detailed questions. After all, the US Navy’s own on-line Fact File pegs the cost of a Nimitz Class carrier at $4.5 billion, but Navy representatives claim a cost of $8.1 billion per ship for the CVN-21 Class – and note that this is cheaper than building a new Nimitz Class ship! NAVSEA also claims up to $5 billion of savings over the ship’s lifetime vs. a Nimitz carrier.
How does this math square, and how specifically do the innovations in the CVN-21 Class rack up $5 billion in savings over the ship’s 50-year service life?
ITT Federal Services International Corp. in Colorado Springs, CO received a $74.4 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract as part of the Total Army Communications — Southwest Asia, Central Asia and Africa (TAC-SWACAA) contract. In this component of the contract, ITT will operate and maintain communications and information systems for U.S. and allied forces under the operational direction of the Network Enterprise Technology Command’s (NETCOM) 160th Signal Brigade. The contract covers one base year with four one-year options, and has a potential value of $681 million when all options are exercised.
Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA received a $166.3 million cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-02-C-2102) for naval nuclear propulsion components. Work will be performed in Pittsburgh, PA (73%) and Schenectady, N.Y. (27%). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Work completion date or additional information is not provided on naval nuclear propulsion contracts. The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. issued the contract.
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp in San Diego, CA is being awarded an $8.3 million modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00019-00-C-0277) for shipboard testing of the RQ-8 Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, including shipboard installation and flight testing on the High Speed Vessel-2 USS Swift.
DID’s article re: costing the CVN-21 Class noted the lifetime cost role played by mid-life refuelings and “incremental availabilities.” As part of the Nimitz Class super-carrier USS Harry S. Truman’s (CVN 75) Planned Incremental Availability, Earl Industries LLC in Portsmouth, VA received a $17 million fixed-price contract for miscellaneous mechanical and structural repairs, preservation and ship alterations.
Work will be performed in Portsmouth, VA and is expected to be complete by November 2006. All contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Internet, with 12 proposals solicited and one offer received. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center USN in Portsmouth, VA issued the contract (N40025-06-C-6004).
On August 25, 2005, DID covered Kuwait’s $295 million, 6-year DSCA request for services related to its F/A-18 C/D Hornet fleet. DynCorp International LLC in Fort Worth, TX was named as one of the three beneficiaries, and they have now been awarded a $13.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide maintenance and support services for Kuwaiti Air Force F/A-18s under the Foreign Military Sales Program in 2006. Work will be performed in Kuwait (90%) and Fort Worth, Texas (10%), and this contract segment will end in December 2006. This contract was competitively procured through an electronic request for proposals, with three offers received. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract (N00019-06-C-0308).
Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) in San Diego, CA received a $28.7 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, cost-reimbursement contract for engineering support for the Capital Asset Management System (CAMS). CAMS is a computer network system that is designed to manage asset accounting and reporting capabilities for all military equipment.