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Secretary of the Navy comments on DDG 51 awards

Written by Nick Blenkey

secnav MabusJUNE 4, 2013 — “These contract awards represent great value to the taxpayer and will ensure our warfighters have the ships and systems they need to prevail in any situation,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, commenting on the Navy’s just announced multi-year procurement awards for nine DDG 51 destroyers (see earlier story). “By leveraging competition in the DDG 51 class shipbuilding program, these shipbuilders will continue their proud histories in delivering these highly capable ships to the fleet while meeting critical operational requirements for integrated air and missile defense capability.”

The awards announced this week are for a total of nine ships, with an option for a tenth ship. The Navy’s says its objective is to procure the tenth ship as part of the planned FY 2013-2017 multi-year procurement (MYP). The Navy says it “will work with Congress to resolve funding shortfalls resulting from sequestration reductions before contracting for the tenthth ship.”

A competitive allocation strategy used in the DDG 51 class shipbuilding program since 1996, known as profit related to offers, or PRO, uses Fixed-Price Incentive Firm (FPIF) contracts to ensure reasonable prices while maintaining the industrial base.

Congressional approval for the use of MYP contracts facilitated program budget savings of more than $1.5 billion while enabling the shipbuilders and equipment manufacturers to more efficiently plan future workloads.

“I am proud of the success of the DDG 51 program and appreciate Congress’ continued support and approval of the Navy’s multiyear procurement request,” said Secretary Mabus. “This award enables stability in our industrial base and ensures the Navy and the nation get the most efficient and affordable build plan for these destroyers.”

The destroyers are being procured in a Flight IIA configuration, relying on a stable and mature infrastructure while increasing the ship’s air and missile defense capabilities through spiral upgrades to the weapons and sensor suites.

The Navy plans to introduce the first DDG 51 Flight III on the second ship in FY 2016. Once Flight III requirements are approved, the new baseline will be implemented as an engineering change proposal. It is anticipated that the Flight III design will replace the Aegis AN/SPY-1D radar with the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) and provide for more electrical power and cooling capacity, providing the next generation of integrated air and missile defense and joint battle space awareness.

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