SEAWOLF PROGRAM COSTS AND SCHEDULES
Regarding The Submarine Building PrograrmI in the October 1995 SUBMARINE REVIEW, it is difficult to understand Rear Admiral Frick’s statement that the “Seawolf is a success story … we are going to deliver these complex ships (SSN 21 and SSN 22) on time and within the constraints of the cost cap”.
The SSN 21 delivery was originally scheduled for November 1994. The delivery of the lead ship was delayed by at least six months (to May 1995) due to changes in the BSY-2 system configuration. On 1 August 1991 the Navy announced that massive weld failures had been discovered in the hull that would delay completion of the lead submarine at least into 1996. (The cracks in the welding, which were first discovered in June 1991, required the replacement of all welds completed up to that time.)
The latest issue of the Naval Sea Systems Command Quarterly Progress Report (1 October 1995) lists the SEA WOLF delivery date as 24 May 1996-one-and-a-half years after the originally scheduled date. This is hardly “on time”.
The cost cap is a more difficult issue, as it has been increased since originally being levied by Secretary of the Navy John Lehman a decade ago. The SEA WOLF contract was increased by $58,825,590 to cover the costs of the defective weld problems; was this increase covered by the cost cap? What was the increased cost of a one-and-a-half year slippage?