We’ve previously noted that the Zumwalt has received a bit of a free pass regarding public analysis and oversight (see, Who's Watching Zumwalt). Compared to the poor LCS, the Zumwalt is a complete unknown. ComNavOps, however, is keeping an eye on things. Here’s a quick update on the program costs.
GAO (1) lists the program costs as of August 2012 as
Additional R&D and Procurement Funding Needed for Completion: $1.9B
Total Cost: $23.3B
Given that the complete program build is three ships and there’s nowhere else to spread the R&D costs, the unit cost for the Zumwalts is an average of $7.8B. Of course, this optimistically assumes no further cost overruns. That is a whopping lot of money to spend on a ship with a very limited mission set!
(1) Government Accountability Office, “DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS
Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs”, March 2013, GAO-13-294SP