Concept design of a low cost alternative to DDG 51
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This study has been conducted in an effort to develop a concept design for a low cost surface combatant to be used by the United States Navy as an alternative to DDG 51. The design endeavors to meet stated Navy objectives for surface combatant affordability and capability.
Affordability is not simply a function of cost. It is instead a more complex measure which is dependent on factors including unit costs, budgets t and force structures. Thus, changes to any or all of these basic components can alter the affordability definition within any given application or context. The budget and force levels for the next 20 years are projected to decline, while unit costs continue to rise. For this reason, lower cost alternatives must be pursued in order to balance the affordability equation and allow required force levels to be maintained within budgetary constraints.
Acquisition cost for a DDG 51 low cost alternative should be less than $2 billion (in FY 91 dollars) for the firs t ship. This high initial cost would be attributed to the research, development, and design costs associated with a new ship design, as well as the actual construction costs for the first ship. Acquisition costs for follow ships should average around $750 million, or $100 million less than DDG 51. Overall life cycle costs should represent at least a 10% improvement over DDG 51.