The naval-technology.com website reports that the Navy has issued a contract to Raytheon for $255M (options to $349M) for “mission system equipment” engineering for the third and final Zumwalt ship, DDG-1002 (1). Aside from being another quarter of a billion dollars added to the cost, I’m wondering what this is for? This is the third and final ship of the run. The engineering has already been worked out. Further, the program was based on a fixed price contract. There can’t be any price increases unless the Navy issues a change order. Is this what’s happening here? Is this a change order in support of a rail gun that was rumored to be under consideration for installation on the third and final Zumwalt? That would certainly be a major change that might justify this kind of cost addition.
These are limited mission ships which are already hugely expensive at several billion dollars per vessel, including construction and R&D. Adding another quarter billion dollars or more is eye opening at this stage. Let me know if anyone has any insight on this. In the meantime, I’ll see if I can find out anything more about this.