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Acquisition and Competition Strategy Options for the DD(X): The U.S. Navy's 21st Century Destroyer

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In 1994, the U.S. Navy initiated a program to transform Americas surface combatant fleet by developing a new family of ships intended to project power more rapidly, wage war more effectively, and operate less expensively, compared with vessels currently in the fleet. The centerpiece of this new family of ships is a destroyer, currently designated DDX. After several years of study of alternative system concepts, design proposals for the DDX were solicited from two industry teams. In April 2002, one of those teams, led by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems NGSS, was selected winner of the competition and awarded a 2.9 billion contract to manage a 3-year risk-reduction phase and to act as the lead design agent for the program. The Navy also specified that the shipyard member of the other industry team, Bath Iron Works BIW, should participate in ship design and production activities. Detail design of the lead ships is now scheduled to start in 2006, with fabrication commencing in 2007. Acquisition and contracting decisions that the Navy makes during that next phase of the program will have important implications not only for the U.S. industrial base involved in manufacturing and equipping surface combatants, but also for options available in subsequent phases of the DDX acquisition. In 2003, the Navy asked the RAND Corporation to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different acquisition and contracting strategies that defense officials could employ on the DDX program to achieve three objectives make the best use of competition throughout the detail design and production phases maintain a strong industrial base capable of building surface combatants and achieve program cost, schedule, and performance objectives. RAND conducted and documented this research before U.S. defense officials significantly changed the program in 2005. Thus, this study is a snapshot of the program as it existed in 2003 and 2004, before those changes were put in place.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Marine Engineering
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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