Military Capabilities

GAO questions USN’s estimated carrier labour-cost reductions

14 May 2019

US Navy (USN) officials have been praising the ability of Newport News Shipbuilding to reduce the costs for the second Ford-class aircraft carrier, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), but a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report disputes those reductions and further calls into question the USN’s cost-savings contentions for its recent two-carrier buy.

“Costs for CVN 79 are also likely to increase as a result of optimistic cost and labor targets, putting the ship at risk of exceeding its USD11.4 billion cost cap,” the GAO said in a report on major Pentagon progammes released earlier this month.

“The CVN 79 cost estimate assumes unprecedented construction efficiency — labor hours will be 18% lower than CVN 78,” the GAO reported.

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