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Citizens versus DDX

July 20, 2005

Citizens Against Government Waste has sent a letter to the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee concerning the Navy’s new DDX destroyer. This is a platform which I have argued against for years as overweight, overbudget, and obsolete. Called a “destroyer”, the vessels id actually a new century battleship, and hardly compares to the glorious greyhounds which helped win 2 world wars, and the Cold War. Here’s what CAGW had to say:

On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, I urge you to fully examine the future of the Navy’s DD(X) Next-Generation Multi-Mission Surface Combatant Ship program in your hearings this week. The DD(X) program has already consumed $3.59 billion in research and development. Projected costs have risen 417 percent, while the total number of ships to be procured has fallen from 24 to 12.

Despite the substantial investment by taxpayers, the feasibility of certain key technologies has been questioned in a series of reports by the Government Accountability Office. The DD(X) program has already missed a major deadline (Milestone B) due to disagreement between the Navy and the Cost Analysis Improvement Group over estimated DD(X) procurement costs. The DD(X) was also highlighted in CAGW’s 2005 Congressional Pig Book, which stated, “at least three of the Navy’s big-ticket shipbuilding programs face major affordability concerns that could force the department to cut costs by dropping or changing requirements, Inside the Navy reports.”

There’s good news: The navy has recently laid the keel of its new littoral combat ship (LCS) which in size, function, and cost ($250 million each) is the true destroyer for the 21st Century. We can only hope the Navy will realize this before they have a fleet consisting of only a couple DDX battleships.

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