With federal lawmakers demanding a guarantee of an independent cost estimate for the service’s guided-missile frigate (FFG(X)) programme, Rear Admiral Casey Moton, USN Program Executive Officer for Unmanned and Small Combatants, said on 23 June that the service had already completed such an estimate.
In its official markup of the fiscal year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) released 23 June, the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces called for Defense Secretary Mark Esper to “ensure that an independent cost estimate of the full life-cycle cost of the FFG(X) frigate program of the Navy has been completed before the conclusion of milestone B of such program”.
Speaking at a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) virtual event, Rear Adm Moton said, “Certainly I saw that. We’ve done that.”
The Pentagon Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) had done a frigate estimate as the USN went to award the FFG(X) contract, Rear Adm Moton noted.
Fincantieri Marinette Marine was awarded the USD795.1 million fixed-price incentive, firm-target navy contract on 30 April for FFG(X) detail design and construction (DD&C).
The US Navy awarded Fincantieri Marinette Marine the detail design and construction contract for the FFG(X) class of guided-missile frigates in April. (Fincantieri Marinette Marine)
“That estimate was independent,” Rear Adm Moton said, adding the estimate was close to an earlier USN estimate. The service had been focused on price from the earliest stages of the FFG(X) programme, he said, and having the similar data points gave the USN confidence in the estimates.
“I would say the entire frigate acquisition strategy was designed in part to reduce risk,” he said, “and help us stabilise cost.”