Reducing Detail Design and Construction Work Content by Cost-Effective Decisions in Early-Stage Naval Ship Design

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (AT&L) recently presented analyses of cost and schedule growth on Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) over the last 20 years (2013, 2014). For naval ships, AT&L (2013) concluded that contract work content growth (not capability growth) dominates total cost growth statistically. In addition, costs-over-target are significant and reflect poor cost estimation or faulty framing assumptions. AT&L (2014) also concluded prices on fixed-price contracts are only “fixed” if the contractual work content remains fixed, but this is often not the case. The authors show that under-sizing the ship during concept design studies increases ship outfit density and adds complexities to the design. These early-stage design decisions on sizing the ship are a major contributor to unnecessary work content growth later in Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) that cannot be eliminated no matter how productive the shipbuilder. However, new ship design methods are being developed and integrated with legacy physics-based design and analysis tools into a Rapid Ship Design Environment (RSDE) that will enable a more rational process for initially sizing ships. The authors also identify the need for early-stage design measures of complexity and ship costing tools that are more sensitive to these measures, and propose solutions that will aid decision-makers in reducing DD&C work content by making cost-effective design decisions in early-stage naval ship design.


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  • Accession Number: 01598373
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 20 2016 11:40AM