The U.S. Navy has begun to consider whether to switch to Huntington Ingalls Industries to build the Flight III version of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer due to a disagreement between the service branch and a General Dynamics subsidiary over a fixed-price contract, Defense News reported Sunday.
Christopher P. Cavas writes General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works subsidiary claims that a fixed-price contract, also known as engineering change proposal, would pose risks to the shipbuilder and that it would be hard to accurately estimate shipbuilding costs due to several modifications to the vessel's design.
According to the Government Accountability Office, some of the changes in the Flight III design include a new electrical system designed to power the Raytheon-built SPY-6 air missile defense radar, Aegis combat system upgrades and machinery rearrangement, as well as new hull structure and air conditioning plants.
“The Navy continues to negotiate the DDG 51 Flight III Fixed Price Incentive ECPs with both Bath Iron Works and Huntington Ingalls Industries in accordance with the acquisition strategy,“ said Capt. Thurraya Kent, a spokesperson for the Navy acquisition directorate.
The military branch is likely to allocate at least $50 billion in funds over the next 10 years to construct 22 of the new Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers with the SPY-6 AMDR, the report added.