Washington — Today Kenneth Kreig, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, signed the final document needed to proceed with production of the groundbreaking DD(X) destroyer, U.S. Senator Trent Lott said. The signing of the Destroyer Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) is the last major milestone needed before the Navy can proceed with detailed design for the ship and procure actual material for ship construction.
"This is a great day in
America's maritime history because this memo marks the real beginning of
what will become the stealth bomber of surface combat ships," Senator
Lott said. "DD(X) will ensure that America retains our naval supremacy
for generations to come, and it will secure our entire shipbuilding
industry, making sure that our shipyards remain open and our skilled
will set new technical standards for shipbuilding in much the same way
as stealth technology did for aircraft. In fact, technology derived from
the DD(X) is expected to be
Earlier this year, some with the Department of Defense suggested a recompetition of DD(X) as a short-term cost reduction strategy. Senator Lott strongly objected to this suggestion, indicating that delays would cost American taxpayers much more throughout the DD(X) program's life cycle. He further indicated that the DD(X) program was crucial to retaining America’s shipbuilding capacity. He said without the DD(X) program, American shipyards could face closure which could result in America being put into the unenviable position of asking foreign shipyards to construct America’s Navy or Coast Guard vessels.
The Navy responded by awarding two preliminary contracts for DD(X) planning including efforts to prepare the DD(X) radar test facility and completion of the engineering development model and the critical design review methods. However, until signing of today's memo, the Navy had not officially moved forward with provisions to acquire materials or delineated how many ships would be initially constructed. Today's memo specifically approved a low rate initial production quantity of eight ships. There remains only one procedural review before construction actually commences. However this review is essentially a routine one which reconciles Navy and DoD individual program cost estimates and establishes testing requirements for the ship.