GAO Delivers DD (X) Program Interim Report
Technological development for the U.S. Navy’s advanced DD (X) destroyer is still lagging despite progress in a number of areas, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report issued June 14, 2005. GAO cited issues of technology maturity in certain areas, including volume search radar, and expressed concern that delayed testing may not offer important answers before key decisions are made. The full report can be found here in PDF format.
The DD (X) destroyer program is currently is approaching two key decision points.
The program will complete a critical design review by August 2005. This review is intended to demonstrate the design maturity of the ship and its readiness to proceed to production.
The next hurdle will be Milestone B, when the Navy will decide on whether to authorize the award of a detail design and construction contract for production of the first ships. Milestone B was planned for March 2005 but has been delayed several times and is now expected to take place before the end of the Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2005, i.e. by November.
In light of the House FY 2006 spending bill, the DD (X) program could also face cost caps that would significantly affect both of these decision points.