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Arleigh Burke Destroyers: Delaying Procurement of DDG 51 Flight III Ships Would Allow Time to Increase Design Knowledge

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Technical Report

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U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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Over the next 10 years, the Navy plans to spend more than 50 billion to design and procure 22 Flight III destroyers, an upgrade from Flight IIA ships. Flight III ships will include the new SPY-6 radar system and Aegis ballistic missile defense combat system upgrades. The Navys MYP approach requires the Navy to seek authority to do so from Congress.House report 114-102 included a provision for GAO to examine the Navys plans for the DDG 51 Flight III ships and AMDR. This report assesses 1 the status of efforts to develop, test, and integrate SPY-6 and Aegis in support of Flight III 2 challenges, if any, associated with the Navys plans to design and construct Flight III ships and 3 the Flight III acquisition approach and oversight activities, among other issues. GAO reviewed key acquisition documents and met with Navy and other DOD officials and contractors.What GAO RecommendsCongress should consider requiring an update of estimated savings for the current DDG 51 MYP to reflect the addition of Flight III ships. The Navy should delay procurement of the lead Flight III ship and refrain from seeking authority for a MYP contract until it can meet criteria required for seeking this authority. DOD should also designate Flight III as a major subprogram to improve oversight. DOD partially concurred with all three recommendations but is not planning to take any new actions to address them. GAO continues to believe the recommendations are valid.

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