McAleese & Associates: GAO Examines Navy’s Cost Estimate for Columbia-Class Submarine Program

Jim McAleese

Consulting firm McAleese & Associates has released a report on key takeaways from a Government Accountability Office study on the U.S. Navy’s cost estimate for the Columbia-class submarine acquisition program.

Jim McAleese, founder and principal at McAleese & Associates, wrote in the report that GAO challenged the technological maturity of several systems related to the Columbia-class submarine program.

Those technologies include the integrated power system, common missile compartment, advanced propulsor bearing and stern area system.

The service “included no significant cost-reserves, even though historic shipbuilding programs have incurred 27 percent average cost growth on lead-ship construction,” noted McAleese, a 2019 Wash100 winner.

According to the report, the military branch “improperly discounted” the 14.5M initial touch labor hour estimate for the construction of the first Columbia-class submarine to only 12M labor hours because of $1.9B in additional cost savings from the use of authorities related to the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund and 1.1M additional labor-hour savings from the construction of two Virginia-class attack submarines per year.

“GAO concluded that Navy will not request sufficient SCN procurement funding for 1st 2021 Columbia-class order,” McAleese added.

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