Life cycle cost approach for evaluation of alternative submarine programs
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Submarine designs have traditionally been evolutionary, with each new design being more capable than the last. Issues like speed, depth, and combat/weapons systems have dominated the design process because of concerns with the increasing capability of Soviet submarines. Only cursory attention has been paid to affordability. As a result, the SEAWOLF submarine is estimated to cost approximately twice as much as an improved-LOS ANGELES Class submarine (its predecessor).
The combination of a reduced Defense Department budget and increased unit costs is projected to result in an Attack Submarine force level of less than 40 ships over time as opposed to current force levels of 90-100 ships. The Navy has on occasion stated that 60 submarines is the minimum needed to meet its mission requirements, which have changed with the decrease in the Soviet threat. Accordingly, the current Navy focus is to explore ways to reduce unit submarine costs to less than half of SEA WOLF.
This project will examine the submarine from a Life Cycle Cost perspective starting with the definition of need, mission definition and requirements, trade-off analysis and cost allocation all resulting in a conceptual submarine design that meets the cost target of 50 percent for acquisition and 75 percent for operations and maintenance relative to the SEA WOLF submarine program.
- Masters Theses