Speaking at the WEST 2015 conference in
, Adm. Michelle Howard, Vice Chief of Naval Operations had this to say about the cost of the San Diego replacement submarine, the SSBN(X) (1), Ohio
“We know we’re going to have to replace her and we know the cost for that is going to be on the order of $9 billion a platform."
Does she not know that the official Navy cost estimate is $5.4B with a target of $4.9B each per the Congressional Research Service July 2014 report?
Is she just totally uninformed or did a bit of truth accidentally leak out?
Now, this is not exactly earth shaking news. The rest of the world has known all along that the SSBN(X) program would cost much, much more than the Navy estimated but to hear the Navy publicly admit it is kind of earth shaking given the line they’ve been trying to sell.
Here’s the scary part, though. The Navy never even comes close to being right about their cost estimates. They’re typically around 50% too low. So, if the Navy is publicly admitting $9B per sub then you can be sure the real cost will be around $14B. YIKES!
(1) USNI, "WEST: Sea Service Leaders Outline Challenges", John Cannon,
February 13, 2015,