tv Hearing Focuses on the Navys Use of Littoral Combat Ships CSPAN December 5, 2016 3:45am-6:02am EST
forces is responsible for the honorable j michael gilmore has been the senior advisor testing and evaluation of weapons systems since 2009 and mr. paul francis energy director of acquisition and source management at the government accountability office his 40 year career with gao is focused most on this than major weapons acquisitions especially shipbuilding. lcs is an important yet all too common example of defense acquisition gone awry. since the early stages of this program have been critical of fundamental lcs shortcomings in here we are 15 years later with an alleged warship that according to dr. gilmore's assessment can't survive a hostile combat environment and has yet to demonstrate its most important warfighting auctions
in a program chosen for affordability that the gao has reported has doubled in cost with a potential for future overruns. like so many major programs that preceded it though cs failure predictably from an inability to stabilize requirements and roofs date cost estimates and unreliable assessments of technical and integration risks race made worse by repeatedly buying ships ignition packages before proving they are affected and can be operate together. what is so disturbing is that these problems were not unforeseen. in 2002, the navy first requested congress authorize funding for the lcs program. after reading the plan that two armed services committees said quote lcs has not been vetted through the pentagon's top requirements. the second article of the joint requirements oversight counsel
the navy strategy for the lcs does not clearly identify the plan and funding for development in the valuation of mission packages upon which the operational capabilities of lcs will depend. despite such serious concerns it will not come as a surprise to many members of this committee, to the congress that approved funding for lcs and in with the navy awarded the first lcs construction contract in 2004, it did so without well-defined requirements, stable design realistic cost estimates are a clear understanding of the capability gaps the ship was needed to fill. taxpayers have paid a heavy price for these mistakes. the lcs was initially expected to cost $220 million per ship. the cost of each ship has more than doubled to 478 million and we are not through yet.
the lcs needed combat capability and countermeasures were supposed to be delivered in 2008. that capability is still not operational nor is it expected to be until 2020. 12 years late, 12 years late. today 26 ships in the lcs fleet have either been delivered or are under construction or are in contract. in other words taxpayers have already paid for 65% of the planned lcs inventory. lcs combat capability supposed to come from three mission packages countermeasures, service war for an anti-warfare. taxpayers invested more than $12 billion to procure an lcs fund and another $2 billion in these three mission packages yet for all this investment all three of these mission packages are years delayed. practically none of the systems having reached initial operational capability. so far the lcs has fielded only
the most basic capabilities a 30-millimeter gun with a range of two miles and ability the ability to launch and recover helicopters and small boats. the service package was five years late. the mind packages 12 years late to the anti-submarine packages nine years late. the navy failed to meet its own commitment to deploy lcs frames with these mission packages in part because for some reason navy leaders prioritize deployed ships with no capability over completing necessary mission package testing. in other words the text areas have paid for and are still paying for 26 ships that have demonstrated next to no combat capability. this is unacceptable. and this committee wants to know secretary stackley who is responsible and who has been held accountable? i'd like to be the first to say congress belongs on the list of those responsible.
we could intervene more forcefully and demanded more from the department of defense and the navy. we did not. as long as i'm chairman of this committee will. mission packages are not the only problem. keeping the lcs underway has also been challenging. despite eight years ago in 2008 the navy continues to discover quote first of class problems. 16 since 2008. we continue to discover quote first class problems. since 2013, five of the eight lcs deliveries have experienced significant engineering casualties resulting in lengthy periods. amazingly despite nearly no proven lcs combat capability and persistent debilitating
engineering issues in design and operation the navy is charging ahead with an ambitious plan to keep most ships deployed half the time station around the world far from support facilities in the united states. in contrast most navy destroyers are planned to be deployed for the united states far less than 25% of their service lives. the rush to put warships forward in singapore by 2018 without proven combat capability and to maintain a deployment tempo more than twice that of destroyers is a recipe for more wasted taxpayer dollars. although the lcs will deliver some capability the nation still need to capable small surface combatant that addresses the lcs 's critical shortfalls including the ability to attack surface ships with multiple missile salvos defend noncombatant ships from nearby noncombatant ships from air
missile threats conduct long duration missions including submarines without frequent fueling an exhibit robust survivability characteristics. the recently concluded lcs review was long overdue and it yielded from missing initiatives. i am concerned of several critical assumptions of the program are not challenged including excessive operational availability goals and sufficient in-house technical support were lcs unexamined manpower requirements and transitioning to a new small surface combatant. forcelli the department defenses curtailing the lcs program and down selecting to a single shared design. given the cost overruns mission package testing testing and thef engineering failures reducing the size of this program is a necessary first step and i'm prepared to go even further by taking a hard look at any
further procurement of ships until all of mission packages free to ioc. lcs the navy to explain to this committee the american taxpayers why it makes sense to continue pouring money into a ship program that is repeatedly failed to live up to its promises. the lcs continues to experience new problems but it is not a new program. that's why the department's leaders must not delay in reconciling their aspirations with the lcs. demanding accountability in reducing the size of this program. >> thank you mr. chairman today want to join the chairman and welcoming director gilmour and secretary stackley and mr. mr. francis to the committee this point to testify on the littoral combat ship lcs program and we are thankful for your service. a fundamental architecture
separates changes in the mission package from changes that would disrupt the ship design and construction. in the past where there were problems in the combat capability on a ship it was almost inevitably causing problems in the construction program that changes inside the mission package should not translate into a ships potential. however since the mission package and that -- her divorce from each other we have now discovered a new set of problems. while the shipbuilders had problems earlier that is not being a big issue. the shipbuilders and ship workers performed well under this contract since then so we have built 26 of the vessels was not a one of a single mission modules has passed all operational testing.
they'll see combat capabilities largely resides in the mission package in the navy will have to operate the lcs vessels for several more years and a relatively benign circumstances waiting on combat capability to complete testing. chairman mckay and i wrote to the chief of naval operations about the lcs program in september which raised a number of concerns. we asked that the navy consider reducing the planned operational availability of the lcs to a sustainable level received the navy can support deployment availability before expanding availability to 50% under a blue gold concept to the cno responded to the navy is going to continue to planned for availability with the blue gold concept because that's what the navy needs to support the optimized fleet response plan. i believe some of the problems they're experiencing with lcs vessel is because we got too far in front of ourselves by trying to deploy ships before they were
ready which in turn reduce test. saying that we will attain a will attain the 50% deployment availability goal for lcs because that is what we need makes the optimized response plan achievable rings hollow with me. sounds a lot like previous assurances that they would be no problem in shifting from the original alfie is lou gold content to a a3 cruise for every to ship concept which has now been found wanting and now we are back trying to make the blue gold concept work it in her letter to chairman i asked the navy to establish a land based propulsion machinery control test site because the navy is not providing sufficient in-house engineering capable support for the lcs program to the cno responded that the navy will consider land-based control test site at some later date but not now. i'm willing for the moment to work with the navy to play out this to try to enhance support
but i'm concerned that lcs fleet material support will suffer without such a facility when such support is available for other navy combatants. the chairman and i will ask the committee for review of the manpower requirements of the lcs to validate or revalidate the quantity and quality of manpower apartments to determine if additional personnel are assigned to perform damage control force protection maintenance and other duties. the cno responded the navy celsius reteam have assessed the requirements that i would just say i'm skeptical that the lcs would have had sufficient time to do much more than decide how to allocate which space would be available. such an allocation process would not constitute the manpower requirements that i had in mind. finally the chairman i suggested maybe should start planning now to pick your begin delivery to a new small combatant as soon as
possible in 2020. the cno responded the navy will address the future small surface combatant at some later date after the navy has completed analysis of the future fleet requirement. and stand cno riches and a time to review overall requirements however i believe in the navy begins a program for follow on small surface combatant that should have weight repeating what we did with the lcs program where we are in such a hurry we did not take the time to go through important parts of acquisition process such as deciding what the requirements are deciding how much they're willing to pay to achieve those requirements and programming at a time for the manpower in the programs we needed to support the program. if the navy which allow we may face similar urgency. thank you mr. chairman eyelet forward this hearing. c we begin with you director gilmour. welcome dr. gilmore. >> i apologize, thank you mr. chairman senator reed members of the committee.
as you pointed out mr. chairman although the first lcs was commissioned in 2008 the lcs program is not demonstrated effective warfighting capability in its originally provisioned missions by the navy requirements. surface warfare lancaster measures or mcm and anti-submarine warfare. increment service worker mission packages on lcs see france as in my stability in the ship defending itself against small forms of fast -- although not against threat represented numbers of attacks attacks. abilities support maritime security operations such as launching and recovering boats and interdiction operations. however when was yielded as part of the next increment of the surface warfare package its capability should improve and it will be important to solve the problem testing with that have enabled us to discover so many
of the problems. in a june report based on the ti concluded the lcs deploying the countermeasures package would not be operationally suitable if called upon to -- that testing demonstrates the lcs package did not achieve a sustained area clearance rate of a legacy systems nor can they package the use to reduce requirements for clearance rate even under ideal conditions achieving 1/2 of those requirements which are fraction of the navy's forward plans. the ship as well as line countermeasure systems are not reliable and all the systems not just a remote system and the multimission vehicle have been recently canceled that significant shortfalls in performance. ..
components impose significant constraints for example, to be fully mission capable 24% of the test period they both fall short of the unreliability requirements have the engineers your chance to compete that 30 day mission that is a requirement without critical failure of a sub system necessary for wartime operation. they also revealed significant deficiencies now the navy is developing plans to take actions to correct these problems with the severity until they're fully corrected. in closing i want to emphasize the importance of realistic testing only through testing of the
emission packages on and aboard the ship that the significant problems and shortfalls i discussed revealed. in fact, accounting review team emphasize the reliance on the shore based testing provided a false sense of system maturity. similarly only with realistic testing was the inaccuracies of those tactics. therefore my strongest in most important recommendation to you and to the navy to find and execute of the mission packages and lcs as we go forward. >> mr. chairman ranking members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to appear today to address our program.
with this somewhat like to make a brief opening statement and have my full testimony enter into the record. eight index service anti-submarine areas with the overall balance structure is a replacement for three legacy service ships about one-third the size of the thrifty was class destroyer designed for missions that the destroyer is not equipped police or could not be performed by the small combat ship for its ability is. it has greatly reduced procurement cost in manpower in fact, the procurement cost is one third and also the man by our requirements lcs was built with high-speed ability damage
control and combat systems including a 57 million member -- surface-to-air missiles in the new horizon missile that the navy is adding for long-range service targets. in addition it carries the missions planned for each ship's deployment this service warfare mission package a.m. adds an armed helicopter and a vehicle for surveillance and surface-to-surface missiles the other package has sonar that operates in sonar with the helicopter with sonar and torpedoes the counter mission has unmanned service and unmanned water vehicles with sensors and systems to detect and neutralize underwater mines. the four cornerstones i'd like to summarize the is the
shipbuilding program as the committee is aware the program was initiated with unrealistic cost and schedule estimates within incomplete decide an extraordinary budget overruns were result subsequently was restructured damp production placed on hold to verify design quality in weakness and authorization to approve the design changes was up that the four-star level would. the oversight at the shipyard was decrease the acquisition strategy to compete while long-term contracts under fixed prices mendez the industry made significant investment to improve productivity and quality. as a result the cost has greatly improves that the current ships are the of living at how often m performance has stayed
within the budget and the quality of each ship has improved as if measured by the inspection survey. and performance continues to improve. we have implemented some plum -- similar rules across all shipbuilding although we could not get out front of all programs to design production and testing has strolled into place. and second, the emission packages the strategy is to incrementally introduce systems as the package when it is mature and ready for deployment. lcs has the unmanned aerial vehicles the 30 mm gun system and now the harpoon device assault and we are
currently integrating the hellfire missile and support of testing and as a result year entr'acte to complete in 2018. and next mission package is the anti-submarine package it has been demonstrated to greatly exceed that of any other sensor system afloat. we are in the process to build us a developmental model before replying to see in 2018. their relative success stories benefit from the lcs package approach as the navy develop systems it is important to leverage the modular design and be able to do so in rapid fashion once they are richer.
we are headlong into challenges to develop these capabilities that our central to what is arguably one of the most were funding gaps of the counter measures the requirements of lcs are to identify those that are specifically exceeding without putting the ship for the sailor into a the minefield the cm warfare package helps with the helicopter carrying the laser mine detection system and the airborne neutralization system to destroy them below the surface it we are ready to deploy a. the unmanned aerial sensor to detect those objects that are close to shore is on track to be tested in 2017. with the work forceful fear is the highe in durance
unmanned vehicle which we have relied upon five to achieve the high a area clearance rate required for our plans with the needy is satisfied as demonstrated with developmental testing we expect further improvements with the ongoing upgrades. but the unmanned vehicle is the remote emission vehicle has built to meet liability requirements despite redesign elements we stop testing and assigned the independent review team and the results of this was threefold. local finance -- confidence of the vehicle or higher confidence through processing to reduce the of risk of the mine detection sonar as an alternative and recognition the long term
solution that they would operate with the unmanned underwater vehicle if technology can support that and as a result we have restructured that packaged utilize the unmanned service vehicle currently being built to the mine detection sonar this vehicle is scheduled to commence 2019. the third cornerstone addressing the performance of the ships and operations as well as the detailed preview i'd like to phaedrus the readiness in the total lcs has operation up report metrics consistent. however for the past year five ships have been operational impacting by a
engineering reviews and command investigations to assess the root causes for each of these casualties. one was design related. in the manufacture was required and operation deficiencies traced to the gear as a clutch failure design modifications happened as a result and is tested and will be incorporated into future ships prior to delivery. the manufacturer is being held accountable. >> you'll have to summarize here we have a limited amount of time. >> kisser the manufacturers are being held accountable but that was due to the cruise leaving the procedure but with corrective actions going forward with the
operational procedures remaining to casualty's we are reviewing all procedures not just the ship builders but manufacturers and the navy standards to ensure we have the right procedures in place them properly being carried out by the shipbuilders and in the repair yards. those specific cases this shipbuilder is paying for those repairs. more importantly we do need to raise the level of the engineering design to that of the standards to have a comprehensive engineering review we will provide findings to the committee. the fourth cornerstone is transition we have revised the plan going forward commencing in 2019 the
intention is to transition from lcs to incorporate the surface or mission capability from lcs going forward reworking bad design today and as we complete this design before we proceed into production we will conduct that readiness review to ensure the design is complete and ready to go in and open the books to participate threat to review process. the yankee for the opportunity to discuss this program and i will answer your questions. >> and chairman mccain ranking member mckean and i am honored to testify as the commander i have the privilege of leading sellers
to take the ships to sea they are the center of our professional universe and my frequent visits to the waterfront give me a real-time feedback of what we're getting right and what we need to address. the committee's support has been strong and consistent and we're moving forward with the more lethal force. small surface combatants of the key role to play and with the lcs program is the cornerstone of the effort. it is sad and number of setbacks and the leadership team are aware of we are pursuing solutions to our improved operational availability of the ships and you have my assurance that for the first time in 25 years bearing is competition this statement
underpins my entire approach . it is my job to examine every aspect in those changes that reflect the environment of the of future . they must be prepared to not only impose control but also be prepared to have control of the others those capabilities will bring the fight those capabilities are in high demand by the fleet commanders specifically with respect to mine countermeasures and anti-surface warfare they form the basis of the conventional deterrence posture that puts our cruisers and destroyers we
have learned quite a bit and those options provided so those challenges is encountered over the 60 day review which was then number of straightforward changes into the program as we increased. i am confident we're on the right track well delivering critical war fighting capability there is work to be done and i join the secretary to commit to continuously improve these necessary components of the forge your questions firms to make it morning mr. chairman i don't have a
slick statement i thought i would just talk to you for a few minutes if that is okay. the bottom line on the lcs as we have talked already we are 26 ships and to the contract and increased dildo know if the lcs can do is to robert over last 10 years we have made a number of trade and downs higher promises and construction delays module delays reliability problems with lower capability. to adjust your accommodate a lesser performance of the ship except a number of worker rounds more shore support we have dial down the concept of operations and produce a emission expectation for the ship. it will be 20/20 before all
of the modules will work. for doing my own math i think the first contract for the first ship in 2004 or five but is 16 years from the first contract to when the ship is finally tested with all modules to me that is aircraft carrier territory. so the of miracle of lcs did not happen. what did happen? i think when the navy started off and had a good plan to build two ships that were experimental using commercial yards and designs because they had a rough construct and they wanted to use those ships to see what they could do with them and it was a good idea. in 2005 things changed when the navy decided they could not just tops with to experimental chips but they
had to go forward with construction. in my mind that is when it went from experimental program to a ship construction program and as with any construction program, once you get into it and the money we'll start to turn the business of budget san contracts and ship construction take precedent over acquisition and oversight like design, development, testing and cost. personnel switching to oversight come on any major weapons system the most important milestone is when the legal oversight framework will kick in with the approved baseline for, your requirements, of
operational evaluation the selected acquisition reports all kick in at that time. usually we have the milestone when it is approved for the first ship but with lcs the decision was made in 2011 after we've already approved the block by 20 ships and constructed most of the first four. the cost growth that occurred on the early ships was grandfathered in to the baseline of the program much like today if you look at the selective acquisition report you will mancini much of us gosh -- schedule for cost areas because of the grandfather clause. so those were produced before the decision to keep pace with the ship.
so what we had in my view is a highly concurrent strategy on and all the class of ships. i think of pitcher for the oversight for the frigate program is concerned is it will not have milestone decisions are have a separate program. you will let have those projections the selected acquisition report. some of the key performances have been downgraded to the attributes that to maybe they will make said decisions on what is acceptable. i will wrap up by saying the ball is in your court if you approve the fyi 18 budget if
current plans hold, with the approval of 12 frigates, in my mind, you will be russia again to have up front approval were the design is not done, we don't have the independent cost estimate and it is not understood by the way those modules still have not been demonstrated "seal team six" day will be told me irrigating great prices that the industrial base needs this. id my view for that by a is a pretty loose construct for accountability. you don't have to say how much your savings or held accountable there is an instrument that is called multi-year procurement the abel moonves and davey was able to do that for the four submarines then you know, your savings in test through
the stability of the design and is a commitment before the forget we will use the same contracts as we know how will they work. but with the industrial base we have seen a lot of decisions made but we did not think we would create this because of commercial firms. but now my question is have a lead done enough and is in a time for them to come through for us? can we get one shipped on time or one ship delivered without the serious reliability or quality problems? that is my question. once approved your oversight is marginalized.
what you'll be hit with thin the future is a great prices but we have to protect the industrial base then you can change the program and i assaying that you can. it in the first-ever site question will be the program that has doubled in cost but has yet to demonstrate its capabilities worth another $14 billion of investment? that is assuming a ripping goes well. if you do think it is worth it, my counsel to you and the team is have the navy to competition and to make that the major acquisition but
petition be based on the demonstrated performance and if you did and then decide at that point. you have one shot left to preserve your oversight power and my advice is take the shots. i can assure you it will not send the earth off the access if you do but it will send a signal what you are willing to our progress and what you are not. >> secretary, ronald reagan use said you paint a rather
rosy picture but the fact is that lcs was initially expected to cost 220 million per ship before this committee it has now doubled 470 million. the first lcs combat capability countermeasures' was supposed to be delivered 2008 that capability is still not operational and is not expected to be until 2020t. serving as the executive behoove is rorer the doubling of the cost of the ship and not mislead the difficulties. >> hoodoo a is responsible. >> so who was responsible?
>> reference to the ship that number dating back at the 2004 timeframe we would agree that is unrealistic. >> know why would not because it testified before the committee that would be the cost per ship in retrospect we see it was unrealistic but at the time this committee and congress which approved it it was on the basis of $220 million per ship potatoes 478 million and 12 years later peddled think the committee or congress would have approved it mr. secretary. >> i am selling that number was unrealistic. >> white? why was unrealistic? >> i agree. it was led to believe it would cost 220 million not dollars was an unrealistic number put before the congress with to appropriate
but the results going $700 million each. >> who gave that information to the congress? >> i would have to get back to the records to see who testified that was directed from the top down i can tell you the naval sea systems that was the number put in place says they cost in to break down what they could not and we have the experience of what went wrong. >> en then sunk into the remote vehicle that program is canceled due to unsatisfactory performance the navy for related the
countermeasures for nearly a decade the gao has reported they were buying the system before approved by dr. gilmore reported that they were not affected so why did they recommit in 2010 after the breach showed the case for the system to continue development? >> going through that process we looked at a couple key things. one was the performance issues we were having none of whether or not we believe we could connect - - correct liability issues. >> obviously you could not. >> we failed in that assessment. we did the redesign effort we did not go back to build a new vehicles in accordance with the design we took the existing vehicles to backfit
what fixes we could end to that to task. >> obviously that did not work because it has been abandoned. >> qsr. >> for more question. of those major casualties accounting artie's issues of the inferior shipbuilding is a lack of training or something else. >> but combining with the water contamination and the contamination of a main engine would. combined a gear in is teeth read therefore what did he tell you 24 days?
we don't know the cost for: 355 days and counting. waterjet failure. so what is going on? >> alou is held accountable for? studying specifically back nearly part of this year when associated with personnel errors and started to look very hard that the training and qualifications of the men and women serving on our ships to seek if we had shortchanged them with respect to the training that was provided spec they were not well trained somebody is supposed to train them. >> absolutely. >> are you in charge of that price. >> diane in charge of
training siam capable of fulfilling the responsibilities. what i did find is that the training we provided was insufficient in reviewing the two casualties' tough every gatt the school to conduct the engineering school the acknowledgement of men and women and to be deficient but one of the things i directed is import much more of that training to the seller is to serve on the ships. so given the fact we have engineering training and we move to get the curriculum necessary to get the right knowledge into their heads i think we're in a much better
place going forward. specifically. >> i am agree we may be but admiral, obie will start holding people accountable. we're talking about millions of dollars that were failures that use say was a problem with training? who was responsible for the training? but wasn't that anticipated they would have to be well trained to avoid tens of millions of dollars of problems? >> absolutely. and. >> i am glad that we have learned that they made tens of millions of dollars. >> and a letter in the they talk about the replacement
is testimony suggests lcs is something that would morphin to the forget but we will not have the opportunity with given the compressed time frame to do us a testing and approving, if you will. ken you give us an indication of where this program is headed? is said new design for service, that tends corrects if this doesn't have to be up and running? american 2014 we were directed by then secretary hegel to take a review of the small service combatants to come back with a proposal
of what was referred to as capabilities. we did that review in the 2015 timeframe and fact the defense committees we invite them to participate and the plan going forward that we presented in the budget is to plus the service for fear emission package and then to relieve install the lawn of platform with that multi emission capabilities and add to that that the ship is
already designed to accommodate want that was done with charters and and at the staff level and includes very frigid and then with the validation and it the shipyard and then to put those into their platforms. more is going on today with the competitive down select for the future free did design but to invite your
staff to look at the process and criteria and provide your oversight in be one to show that you have the insight before we go further for word. >> and today that is the plan. we don't have a finalized acquisition strategy with the 18 budget we will bring that to present to the congress and. >> i do appreciate all of the comments but i do need
to point out talking about the multi-year effectively what we are describing with the competitive downside is it is based on this bill liu , associate with the detailed design and we are telling them somebody will win this and they will get 12 ships of this free get design. the details whether that is 12 options are free convert that into the multi-year in the future, that is not decided today. but what we do want to ensure that we procured though ships as early as possible going to that competitive process. >> but again for my perspective become it appears the lcs program.
>> guess you went from 52. >> dr. gilmore points out one of the things we have to consider is the ship were literally gets heavier with these systems at but with added 30 pledge but then to keep up with those striker. >> my time is limited so if you have a quick response quick. >> we will add capability which will add weight however the impact on speed is marginal. the requirement is over 40 knots the ships will still
be faster than any other combat and to worship one that we have with the added weight. second, part of the of requirements and design cycle we will not trade off and in fact, as we look put the competitive strategy to put out there, we are not just not going to trade off and maybe i may have some written questions for the panel. >>. >> always talking about cost overruns or the increase and
about going forward, led lcs there is the periodic time the navy was with all clean sheet designs in the leadership's. but we're still working through those but that approach is in the rearview mirror. where not going forward so we are leveraging richard designs and mature systems giving us the ability to put this future ship under fixed-price contact lcs. >> you do need to elaborate on that because in 2013, the oceanus hat and engineering
those recommendations to improve but with the fundamentals to lock down the requirements of the design to ensure that we have a competitive approach to the forget all of those fundamentals you would want us to do is in place. >> what about the specific recommendation? >> i agree with civics they don't agree with the recommendation quick. >> i'm sorry what. >> cognition consider not
finding anything from the fiscal year and they should revise the acquisition strategy. >> dyewood disagree with the recommendation. >> for the record when i would like to have both few elaborate what is a better solution we have heard a lot but i read these and he has been doing this for such a long period of time also mr. francis not just on this but on some of the heather committees that i have mentioned. >> i would like to follow upon mr. francis suggestion to this committee it is probably that can be responded by the secretary
iran had ruled that one suggestion is that we not okayed the block of price-cutting for the frigate to bet with that type of strategy due to the industrial base and what type of message would that decision by this committee give to the strategy of other programs? >> i will describe what the block by itself is we will go down to select that forget to a single ship order m. procure 12 we want the shipbuilder to go out to the vendor base and secure long-term agreements so pricing and stability will support the program. >> so the concern is that it
doesn't have that type of competition where it would be warranted is that your point mr. francis x.. >> ashley the competition could be done under the detailed design base. that my concern is oversight once you approve the navy will execute in a do believe they have a good job to lay out a program your opportunity to influence what is done is largely economized once you approve it so your ability in the future to make changes. >> but your explanation apparently it has more to do with our ability to provide oversight?
and when you we okayed the block and we let go of that oversight? >> i disagree you relinquish any response abilities is still a annual procurement. there is no determination of liability that the congress takes that responsibility and you will have absolute oversight of the program. >> that is all well and good but the history has spent we have always had that decision making ability but if you go down the path the next thing you know, what costliest that path. bill listing to this testimony you wanted assurances going forward
that we will not continue to throw money into a program that will continue to haunt us in all the other factors. i realize that you reassure us that with regard to this program but i am looking for something very concrete to enable us to get that product that the taxpayers are paying for aside from your reassurances that there is something you will do that would have that product that we pay for. >> i will go down the list of mike at the start of the program we will not suffer for the requirements. we will not introduce a new design into production to
have the cost goes through the roof we will not put them under contract because government owes the responsibility for the cost about that milestone i would be happy to sit down with committee staff to walk through what you need to ensure that you do have confidence that all of the statutory requirements in terms of cost estimate doc acquisition program and documentations is just like a milestone in be will prepare them for you and walk through it with hugh if we need to establish a milestone. i don't hesitate to do that. >> is important to have that very specific items even with the initial testimony
that they would cost $200 million and it when you have been asked to justify those changes against it will be good to have the specific items to check off if we go forward. >> we will work with the staff going forward. >> if i may, i would say all of these are modifications at least $100 million per ship that cost has not been independent validated but if we're that close to have everything ready for the milestone the muscat's have the milestone. although there are not legal requirements for you to approve the ship but if you tried you will be told he
uniformed navy was responsible for this kind of acquisition? it thought it was the civilian side for? >> i want to thank the chair for his very important focus on the issues with the lcs and also to thank mr. francis for his good insight on how to try to bring back the oversight with the cost overruns. dr. gilmore on the different topic want to ask, right now currently pulling block blood negative in comparison to what to think fed chairman with the work we have done together to make sure there is an dave premature retirement because of its capacity to have
close air support for our troops on the ground. so mixing signals with what has ben happening with the airforce before this committee that the fact e.f. 35 will not so air support is very important but it was an honor to make scheerer there are positions and we will consider shortly next week to make sure this comparison the test is done before there is any we tire of it. i want to ask where the comparisons -- comparisons of that process and how that will be conducted in a thorough way?
/ in conjunction for the evaluation force, the three of us detailed plan for all testing and a 35 including in particular a comparison. >> i may not change that but i is this a good plan but with the testing to conduct close air support and also to control those airborne missions. it is a rigorous test end of conductive will provide. >> with the message and
syndication was with the comparison test canvasback to these requirements prevent specifically. >> un. >> and read a and have to convince them but it is there in plain emission. now we will find out if the measure it is up. >> for but my projection is the operational test that would included this comparison will not begin in all likelihood until 2018 or
2019 because the testing will not end until july 2018 at that point you can get a release of the capability software that enables the aircraft deal with the environment and the all projections are the meat and -- the model be available through 2018 we cannot do testing until that time. >> but it is not ready to engage in combat crack's. >> until it has one that is verified and credited it would not have the capability of those threats of what we're spending to have the deal. >> but with isis in syria as iraq spec correct. >> are they ready to assume
that role? unit people argue that it could but i wonder about that argument because the capability it has a is air-to-air missiles and bombs with limitations that the states clearly some of that is the evaluations that our consistent with that and then there are other problems with availability that is at best 50 percent bottoming out at 20 europe 30 so why with the commander said in an aircraft with no bombs are limited
at the inventory due to other components, so this is important getting the timing of the comparison test. >> if i am correct we wouldn't start training for the operational test until 2018 that takes about six months. then it would be conducted by the time it's over and the reporting is done another year has gone by so tha that reports mandated in the bill wouldn't be available.
as i listen t listened to this n that the strike me first i start with the premise nobody involved in this process was malicious or meant to do harm and i want to say that you are one of the most capable officials i've met in this business. however, you put in the new class of carrier and put the future combat syste it seems to me there is a deeper issue going on and it strikes me that it's the desire to have the greatest technology as soon as possible and at the same time,
control costs and to do it on time. we are trying to invent things while we are building them. we spend a lot of time reviewing programs that either failed or have just gone out of bounds in the cost and schedule and almost invariably there are common themes. a lot of it is the developing multiple technologies to integrate them at the same time on a major weapons platform of major system. they've written a number of reports. there is an inclination to underestimate the cost. >> particularly something that's never been built before. then when you get into that
environment and get started, it is difficult to stop. on the other hand if you say we are going to fully test, build a prototype and test then that's going to lengthen your employment and that conflicts that need to have the weapons to meet the current threats. >> yes, sir. so what we are doing is we are cochairing the requirements we've used, production readiness reviews, program reviews and we are challenging every specification in terms of do we really have to have that or is there another way to do t this e ultimate capability we have to ask. the decision to revert back was
a recognition in the 2001 timeframe that we had overreached in terms of technology versus what we really needed in the war fighting fighg capability so we go back to the tried and true but that decision made it likely that only building the three ships was going to make them more expensive. >> what it avoided is it recognized the cost and then going back and introducing the capabilities we need to keep pace with the threat the key word is incremental. we have a hearing on the carriers and as i recall we were trying to do more. it was over three ships and
collapsed and we are paying the price in terms of that. how do we avoid this in the future? >> i gave you that 51 example. we threw away the notion of design and took the proven holder form and what we are doing is tailoring the ship to meet the requirements with replacing the year-long effort with myself and cochairing those to get down to a design that we are confident it is mature enough we are not introducing unnecessary risk. >> it seems to me though one of the things we need to think about is how to design the weapons systems in a way i hate to use the word modular but so they can be upgraded as technology improves instead of
having to rebuild the whole thing. >> if you take a look at the vertical launching system, it starts off with th the the ex- d it now handles the sm three, the s. &, the tomahawk so now we can develop the missiles in the environment and bring them to the ship and then we deal with the upgrade to the land-based system. >> so the whole system isn't filled from scratch. thank you for holding this hearing and i look forward to future hearings and i hope we can continue this discussion of why does this keep happening. >> can i follow up for a moment? you are right on on the problem and we've done quite a bit of work. i think what we have is an age old acquisition culture where
there are strong incentives when the program is getting started to overpromise on its ability to perform and underestimate the cost and load requirements on especially if you're only going to have platforms once a generation off to get everything on the platform you can so, we have to look at why those incentives occur. some is funding in the pentagon. and the pentagon. and if you show any weakness, your program isn't going to go forward, so you have to be a supporter of the programs going through. we have to learn where to take risks and how to take risks and i would say it's before that milestone decision that's where we need to make investments and try things out and be willing to put money. you are right if we take the time to do that, that's going to
delay the capability of the war fighter and we find it to be unacceptable but when we have improved the program and it runs in we find that acceptable. i think we can get it right, and i empathize with the secretary, he ihe's in a very difficult position and i think that he's one of the fastest that i've had the pleasure to work with. but he's charged with executing the programs and defending the programs and that is a tough decision to put somebody in. but the process demands it. >> i would like to say one thing on the topic based on my experience over 26 years. we have to quit denying the facts. there's plenty of facts available about what is happening all along. yet as recently as 2013 the navy
testified they can have off-the-shelf products and its very low in a very well-managed and that turned out not to be the case. again in 2013 the navy testified the linchpin now has over 850 reliable growth and the guidelines which in the meantime is between operational mission failure substantial feeding the requirement. that statement was incorrect. i've been reporting for several years but those claims were incorrect and the program office couldn't bring them to deal with what the facts were. ultimately they did with the independent review team, but whathat'swhat i have seen repean his and an ability, a refusal to deal with the facts are of how well the systems are or are not performing. it's because of these incentives and other things discussed.
>> that's why some of us express such extreme frustration, because we are only as good as the information we receive in that it would cost 220 million per ship which now the secretary says that is absolutely wrong. nobody said it was wrong at the time. everybody said it was right. and yet, i don't want to take the senators tim but there are two stories i could relate to. one we needed very badly in iraq and the secretary of defense had to preside over the weekly meeting to get to the battlefield to save lives. then we had the other extreme for the pistol that's 200 pages long. it's gone through layer after layer and the reason why i am
frustrated and other members are we can only make decisions on the information we get. if it is incorrect or false as the secretary just said, then how can we function effectively for the people we represent? that's why you sense this frustration among the members of the committee including the chairman because we haven't even talked about the aircraft carrier and the catapults. i don't want to take more time out of the committee but i hope that the witnesses understand if we have to bring this to a halt. fooling around on the fringes has proven to be unsuccessful. >> thank you mr. chair. i agree we have to have honest brokers and the people that will
be held accountable. i don't know that we have seen that so far. but i do want to thank all of you for coming in today. and as you may be aware, improving the acquisition program management is a priority for me. i have passed legislation to pass governmentwide, not just the dod that governmentwide with an emphasis on areas that are designated by the gao and high risk and this especially includes the acquisition program management. i know we can all agree it's become an example of one of those challenges we mentioned the aircraft carrier. we won't go there today but that's another one we need to take a look at. during times of defense spending caps, we difficult it is and we have the entitlement spending that will further squeeze the military budgets. we cannot have repeats of
acquisition failures like we've seen with lcs. acquisition success is bottom line a matter of national security. and this is a question for all of you if you could briefly respond please. the program changed its acquisition approach several times something cited by the gao as a reason for the increasing cause and also created a performance issues. in your opinion, what the program and others throughout benefit from a standardized approach to managing the portfolio based on the best practices not only of the industry but also the government before fully moving forward if you could briefly respond please, starting with you. >> let me just describe the experience broke the navy and we
have retooled the entire way we do business when it comes to acquisition programs. i think we are trying to pull the best practices in. we are reviewing requirements and specifications that need to complete the production. we have program managers pretty much under a microscope right now and we've taken things like cost and the cost into the requirements so that you don't get to ignore cost while you are chasing the requirement. so just like speed, range, power if you start to infringe on the cost requirement that we put into the documents and you have to report just like you do if you infringe on one of the other requirements and identify what you are going to do to reverse that if yorevertthat if you arer otherwise we look at canceling or if necessary adding costs to
the program. >> would that have been good before the process started? >> the witnesses that informed the congress, i don't think they knew. i don't think they knew or understand what it would cost so the system. why didn't they tell the congress. that's why sitting side-by-side holding program managers accountable understanding the details of the cost element by element and if we need to make trades we will make trades. >> thank you very much. vice admiral?
>> trading back to the system from my perspective as the commander of the force is one of the things that we conducted showed that we needed to take a step back and apply and look at the lessons that we have learned to value the combatant commanders for the operational availability and i think it is a constant process and i know we will be continuing to look as we apply more of those as we learned them and then feeding them back into the system as it relates to the acquisition system if we can apply them ba back. >> if you could respond as well, i'm amazed that we are only just now discovering that we should be discussing these and have a finished product in mind before we start the project.
>> we should use best practices. if you read the documents that describe the acquisition process, they incorporate most of these except they are often waived. what i've watched over 26 years is what i call a constant search for process solutions to what i think are fundamentally leadership problems. when the leadership is presented with a cost estimate that a number of people coming and we were warning that they were probably quite low when leadership doesn't make it so aware, doesn't question the information is being given and lets it go forward, that is a big problem. the process can help get them that information but if they don't do their jobs and question the information they are being given and it is recommended they send to the congress and
elsewhere than they are failing and i watch those occur for 26 years and i'm certainly for process improvement and if you have a bad process to stop information from getting forward that doesn't enable file reviews, then that's all bad but if you have leadership that doesn't do its job, those process solutions will not fix things. >> that is well put. thank you. >> thank you to each of you for being here today, realizing that this topic is a challenging one for you. facts are stubborn things and leadership is important.
i find your testimony the most damaging document concerning any government program i have ever read not just to what happened in the past, and my colleagues have focused on the procurement process but the decision of what should we do going forward. it's the ability to accomplish the mission and the testing that has been reduced in effect because the cybersecurity defenses are not amply developed
so in this approach mr. francis has outlined the procurement process rather than a block purchase, what is the case now for going forward with this program at all? >> it is not my purview to say what ships the navy should buy or what capabilities they should have, that's the navy's decisi decision. what we have seen is that the ships are not meeting the performance requirements and we are well into the program. i can't predict what the future will hold. and i know it sounds parochial but i will say it again and i said in my opening comments
whatever the navy decides to do with regards to going forward, the history here in this program as well as many others is clear and that is the only way you are going to discover the problems with performance that are significant that you have to deal with before you send sailors into harms way and combat you don't want to discover these ar for the first time when you're in combat the only way you're going to discover those problems is by giving realistic testing along the way. and i agree completely you want to fly before you buy, which apparently hasn't been done here and obviously what can any of the witnesses gave us that the ship is actually going to be
capable of accomplishing its mission and protecting those are going to be onboard? >> we can give you information along the way with regards to what they expect them to do and what they are going to do is changing along the way as they learn more, which is appropria appropriate. its lead in the process, that it's appropriate. you will never get from me or anyone else, and honest ironclad guarantee that the ships are going to perform people now say they hope they would. those hopes are sincere but again, i know it sounds parochial. what you have to continue to do is do the testing that will tell you along the way whether your hopes are going to be realized, not deny the results of the testing and adjust accordingly along the way.
now finally the navy is doing some of that and i commend them for it, but it took a while for all of that to occur. >> if i could just add there is a number of things to ensure the value of the ships as they go forward. in my discussions with the forward commanders both in the mediterranean and western pacific one of the things they tell me is we can't get enough of these ships to provide a presencthepresence and operatiol availability forward. i'm excited about the direction that we are taking them and the capabilities that we are bringing to the fleet. i'i am excited by the conversations i have as they look forward to integrating the capabilities that we are delivering forward. there's no doubt we have a lot
of work to do but as recently as 18 months ago we step up the surface of the center in the organization that we are building that mirrors a similar organization they've had for a long time where we can take those good ideas and take the equipment and a capability that the system is delivering and put that in the hands of the sailors going forward and i think what we are finding, but i'm finding as we talk to these young men and women, yes there are problems and they are not shy about telling me what needs to be fixed. they are also excited not only about the potential capabilities that deliver but also the potential that is built into these particular ships. >> once you produce the whole comment in the navy has to
support it. for the ones that are already committed to the contract the navy will have to do whatever is required for the mission equipment and so forth to make them viable. as we know, there's no guarantee that it's going to work out the way we thought. it's hard to say. the navy is committed and they are obviously entitled to that decision and it's at least a 14 billion-dollar commitment and there's opportunity costs. so the question for the committee is is that the next best use of the $14 million. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> something you said earlier, you said a handgun and one was 200 pages, almost 680 and has been in the works for ten years. it's a shining example of the disastrous procurement process.
with the acquisition people did tell me that there's only 39 pages of the specification. so i asked on the other pages for notetaking are they relevant to the acquisition. look, first off i believe that everyone here is trying to do their best to put the capabilities out to protect the men and women and i think everybody's intention is to do that. i think you've inherited a problem and there's a lot i won't use my time on now but it talks about trying to skin a bear that was wrestled to the ground. i appreciate you are dealing with something in the expectations over a decade ago. i do think that there are things even in this administration we have to face up to going forwa
forward. i worked in the complex consulting environments and when we would go about estimating large projects we would use the history as a basis for creating an estimate for what we are doing now. once we did that, we would still handicap it with examples of other projects that didn't hit our mark. it seems until we come up with an acquisition process that actually comes close to its original mark, we have to start handicapping any estimates here. if i go through the combat systems, it would seem anytime someone comes in here whether it is you or your successor i should multiply somewhere in the order of two or two and a half times the amount of money and the length of time necessary to deliver the platforms because past history has proven it to bo be the case most of the time; would you agree with that?
>> i would, sir. >> i don't know how on earth anybody that's worked in your position for 42 years could have the amount of care that you do. i've got to believe you are tearing it out. the insights that you are providing, why can't that be instructed to the estimating process to begin with in other words in the same way that we would handicap these large complex projects dot anywhere approaching the complexity of what we are talking about here. why don't we have a function that you think you've got it right and the ideal circumstance, 200 million will be great but then have somebody come in and say because all of you have been consistently wrong we are going to require handicapping of a multiplayer.
why shouldn't we have this methodology until we get our act together and deliver on time and on budget. so it's a really interesting discussion and if you look at the private sector, this is the point the chair and is getting too, accountability is pretty clear. if you blow the estimate and can't sell the product out of profit than the company loses money and you know who's accountable. that is another point the chair has made that we also have to change the procurement process. i used to call them memorable moments i would have a team that would come out and do these estimates and then we would do the handicapping. went to the handicapping. i would put a tag on every single one of them. was it the supplier or in my case subcontractor i would create a memorable moment if
that person still worked for the government of the point in time we were two and a half times over costa were over the time budget they lost their job and i think in this process we have to start working that way or we will continue these poor results and the frustrated at the expense of having more money to put out in the systems that make men and women safer for completing our mission and i think we have to start doing this and i'm going to reach out to your office and to speak about maybe how we can load some of this and if it has happened, we've got the incompetent people doing it. >> can i just add something because in my previous life i worked as a career person on the cost assessment evaluation and there is a group that does cost estimates from the independent cost estimates and cost
estimates of programs and they do it on the basis you described. it is a very rigorous process that exists, and a good literature that exists about how to do that and they do it very well and they present their estimates and then the acquisition leadership starts rationalizing why this time things will be different, things will be better so we go through the handicapping but in the opposite way they use described. >> dot description is correct. >> so the bottom line with all due respect, they've been wrong.
this is a bipartisan failure. at some point you have to look at the history for what it is, it is the only way you will not repeat the mistake and the fact that the matter is if somebody wants to come up to me and say look at all these programs we've gotten right, it's not fair to say that we are all almost every single time. the data would be very compelling to support that argument so let's figure out a way to handicap this wee it so n have discussions and start realistic expectations. i'm sorry i've gone over. >> you wanted to comment. >> i think we owe you the data in terms of the cost growth and it's not a pretty picture.
my comment with regards to the estimate i can't point to many programs offhand where we are not budgeted to the estimate with the exclusion of programs where we have a fixed project in hand i think we try to work collaboratively to arrive at the best estimates going forward. going back to the discussion with the importance of the milestone that's the critical point to get the independent cost estimate as best as possible budgeting the risks and everything else accounted for. >> again, wonders why and who did it. senator graham. >> we've gone from 52 ships to
40. why? >> of the requirement remains 52. >> but secretary carter said there would be 40. is it because the budgets? said the committee needs to know the sequestration problem is that right sex >> the budget control act, yes, sir. the decision was we have to take risks due to the budget. so he said i've got to do something because i don't have enough money so i'm going to go from 52 to 40. you said people out in the field they like this and they want more is that right?
a what can it do that's different than the ones we have today very briefly? >> is it more stealthy? what makes it different? >> it will deliver going forward and i think that it will improve the ability. >> is this the modernization program? >> of the advanced technologies moving forward. >> so the modernization of the existing fleet is one of the goals to be achieved.
the reason we are not building 52 is because the money, not the demand. the world isn't safer to justify is that correct? who actually said $220 million or whatever the number was? >> we will have to go back to that record. >> let's find who said its $220 million, see who they are and figure out what we should do about it.
why did it go up so much is it because we asked for things additional to what was required, was it a sort of add-on capability? >> the change was done after was he changed the specifications for the naval vessel rules to give it the degree of the design details associated. >> how much did that add to the cost? >> it's hard to put a number on it. >> you can't blame the original people that gave the cost estimate because they were not confronted in that requirement. >> that is a good point. >> who put the requirement on?
i want to find out who said it needs to do this, not that so we can talk about why they decided that. do you have any idea who did that? >> i don't remember at this point, senator. but i think what happened is it was thought to be simple of the commercial vessels when they got in and they made the estimate before they entered the detailed design. they got the naval vessel rules and found out that it was way more complicated than they thought. >> if we don't modernize the force it's not going to work forever because we won't be fighting isis forever. there will be an environment that makes no sense that it makes no sense to me because it
actually works but all of us need to know what you are trying to do is modernize so the next war we are in or need to prevent you are capable of doing both. modernization is not an exact science. part of the problem is when you modernize the force, it's not like just duplicating something. it's not a commodity. in the effort to modernize the force, the estimates of what it costs and the capabilities we need our ever-changing and the process completely broken and it goes back to what you said about leadership. if you want this to stop, somebody needs to get fired. we need to make every service secretary responsible for the programs under their control. hopefully in the future someone will be held accountable and get
fired if this happens again. thank you mr. chairman. i wanted to follow-up on some of the questions that you received from senator blumenthal. you were talking about the hopes you had to make you used it three or four times just answering questions. in your written testimony is not full of hope all. let me read a little bit of what he saiyou said with the written testimony and survivability neither is expected to be survivable in the high-intensity combat and none may include survivability features necessary
to conduct sustained operations and in a combat environment. thabove when it makes the shipsa shadow of the ability of the modern navy frigate. with regards to the combat capability, you seem very concerned so that we ask a more operationally focused question. given with doctor gilmore said, are you confident say going to the south china sea that it could connect to other places to be able to survive if the chinese frigates responded with force, or could the fleet today survive attacks from small boats and other patrol craft like the ones that were using the recent capture by iran, are you
confident of that given with a shift that's not combat survivable. >> yes, sir i am. >> argued doctor gilmore? >> no. all of the reporting i've done at the classified levels -- the original vision is that they could use unmanned systems that would go in and conduct combat operations and they could standoff away from threats but those systems that can reach out we don't have and it isn't clear when we ever will. so it was built to not be as survivable. it was built according to the
rules which limits the amount that it's not as survivable as others and frankly it wasn't meant to be in that regard. the origina original if it coule realized that might have been fine but as i understand it the way it been written and the navy is continually revising it, it says that the ship would be out there preparing the way for the battle fleets because that's true then it will be subject to attack by any ship cruise missiles. and the navy's own requirements show the only thing the navy expects if it is hit by one of those kinds of threats is to be able to exit the battle area and/or provide for an orderly abandoning of the ship. against those kind of threats,
the chinese are fueling thousands of them and that they are supersonic and very threatening and those will be a challenge for any but a particular challenge for these. are you confident putting our marines and sailors on the ship's to conduct the operations in the south china sea or standoff or confrontation. therthere's a number of variabls associated in the survivability. certainly the manufacturer, the integrity of the ship, the way that it's manufactured as part of the survivability and part is the damage control we do to ensure the survivability and part of it is the system that we put --
>> you don't want to agree with the written testimony. >> there are variables that you have to look at for the survivability of the ship. for example, the intensive training that we provid we provl the sailors not going to fight the ships at 25 battle damage. they get their mind in the arabian gulf and every analysis says it should have gone to the gulf but it didn't. that's one aspect that i think is lost in talking about the survivability of a ship. they don't want any to get hit and we rely on operations and intelligence and operating them to hopefully not have to lean into a punch. >> into situations.
you have to take it in the proper context in that i don't think we would find them operating alone and unafraid in the middle of the fleet. if they where we would do our best to fight the ship and defend. >> can i add something, senator? >> it gets at the issue the admiraadmiral was raising. of course we don't let them hit the ship they are all trained in the measures they are supposed to take.
>> senator cruise? >> good morning, gentlemen. thank you for the testimony this morning and for your dedicated service to the men and women in uniform. the threat we're facing is increasing across the globe with the nation's adversaries bolstering the defense capabilities and focusing on new technology in the hopes they can deny access to the united states navy or compete in the limited scenario. the adversaries prove the men and women in the navy operate in an incredibly difficult environment every single day. whether facing threatening forces from iran, the russian belligerence and unsafe
practices, china's egregious claims and expansions to the south china sea the sailors are to be commended for their professionalism and steadfast service. however these should remind us that there is too much at stake. there is room for improvement in the program, and i appreciate your candid testimony regarding the efforts are already underw underway. instead of looking back i am concerned future problems could have an impact between the carrier and the f. 35 procurement, the lcs and the ballistic submarine the navy must make the most efficient use of every single dollar that it receives if we are to have any
hope of rebuilding the fleet. there've been many studies to determine the size and wit the x of forces including the bottom-up review and the 2010 quadrennial defense review. mosmost studies indicate that we need more than the current plan to build ships in order to defend the global interest. in the time since the reports the navy has shrunk to about 275 loyal commitments have remained relatively constant this has resulted in a larger percentage on any given day and at the expense of other mission requirements. the incoming administration has set a goal to increase the navy to 350 ships and two reverse the trend that is a goal with which i strongly agree. my question is can you provide
for advice to the committee on how we can accomplish a 350 ship fleet and what an appropriate mix might look like and where you believe they will fit in. >> let me describe it right now the staff is conducting an update to the assessment that was last updated in 2014. he has been very clear in the testimony and in the public describing that the threat. it's taking place right now and identifying whainidentifying whx of ships we need for the future.
the number will go north. what are the capabilities we will need a platform by platform and how do we do that as affordably as possible so that we don't add more pressure to the budget than is absolutely necessary. in spite of that construct, it is the small service combat and today ca come and we talked abot the modification to the platform going forward. but number two assessment, 40 in terms of the budget determination. it will be on the high end of the structure and that will take the ships off of where they need to be in terms of occupational demand compared to where they
need to be integrated more pressure in the turnaround time. >> what do you see as the biggest challenge? >> due to its uniqueness and imperative in terms of schedule and capability we have to provide and the cost, it is a high-cost program and so we are on top of that program in that process and planning to ensure it doesn't grow and we are looking at ways to make it more affordable. that already stands as a challenge forward. the next thing we need to do is
leverage existing designs. we don't want to bring new designs to the table and a the technical risk that brings a startup for the uncertainty that introduces into the amount of time to go through the production cycle. so let's introduced the capability to the platforms as best as possible looking at a future threat and that is the path that we are on. it's good to be looking at the submarine did when you look at the structure going forward, we have a very serious shortfall we have to stand that as best as possible so that's the place we would go to increase the production rates. right now we are building them at a rate that in the long-term drops off the total number because we thought that such a high rate.
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