As per the US Government Accountability Office, the cost of the U.S. Navy’s new aircraft carrier is expected to keep rising from the $12.9 billion now estimated, with the final price masked by deferring some work till the time the ship is delivered.
The Ford-class aircraft carrier will be the most expensive warship in use of the U.S Navy. It is being built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (HII). It is likely that the ship will take longer to complete than advertised.
To manage the ship within the cost cap, the US Navy is deferring installation of satellite communications equipment, correcting defects and some other important equipment until the ship is delivered.
“This approach obscures visibility into the true cost of the ship and results in delivering a ship that is less complete than initially planned,” the GAO said.
The report may serve as fodder for renewed attacks on the Navy’s construction plans from the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican poised to become chairman of the panel in January, has been a persistent critic of the carrier.
The Ford is 83 percent complete as we know till date.
“We continue to see improvements on our performance on Ford and we continue to further increase efficiency and to retire risk,” said Beci Brenton, a spokeswoman for the Newport News, Virginia-based shipbuilder.
On the other hand, the US Navy is quite confident that the ship will be delivered well within cost as they are not asking for non-critical equipment.