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Budgets | Corporate Innovations | Issues - Political | New Systems Tech | Northrop-Grumman | USA

USCG National Security Cutters: Bad News, Good News

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WMSL-751 Waesche(click to view full) Sept 11/07 saw Northrop Grumman celebrate some milestones for its National Security Cutter program. The release arrived shortly on the heels of a Defense News Report that notes some of the process improvements in use within the program, but puts the total cost of the first ship at $641 million. First-of-class ships are often more expensive, post 9/11 changes did add 1,000 of the final design’s 4,300 tons, and the NSC program compares favorably in many respects with past efforts like the AEGIS DDG-51 destroyers and CG-47 cruisers that now form the core of the US Navy. Even so, that $641 million price tag begins to place the Legend Class cutters in the same realm as the new Fridtjof Nansen Class AEGIS air defense frigates that form the high end core of Norway’s navy. Price tags often decline as more ships are built, but there are also cases like the LPD-17 San Antonio Class, whose $1.7 billion cost and 100% overrun on the first ship appear to have perpetuated throughout the build cycle. Which example will this ship class follow? DID looks at the recent milestones and process improvements underway, in order to begin to […]

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