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Navy's Priciest Destroyer Just Got Much More Expensive

New cost is $450M more than last year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 6, 2016 6:56 PM CDT
Price Tag of Navy's Expensive New Ships Rises to $4.25B Each
The first Zumwalt-class destroyer undergoes sea trials in the open ocean off shore from Bath, Maine, in 2015.   (General Dynamics Bath Iron Works via AP)

The price tag for the most expensive destroyer built for the US Navy is still growing, the AP reports. Updated figures from the Congressional Research Service indicate the cost of three ships in the Zumwalt class has grown 3.7%, or $450 million, from the previous fiscal year. That lifts the total for the three ships to $12.74 billion. The first-in-class Zumwalt that's under construction at Bath Iron Works in Maine is due to be commissioned by the Navy in October. It will be followed by two more of the stealthy destroyers that feature an angular shape to reduce radar signature.

The Navy didn't appear to be overly alarmed by the revised cost estimates for the 600-foot ships. The projected cost is about 1% above the acquisition program baseline established in 2011, a Navy spokesperson says. But that baseline price was set in 2011 after a review triggered by growing costs. As a result, the program was reduced to three ships, driving up the cost of the individual units. There's likely plenty of blame to go around, and that includes the Navy's decision to serve as systems integrator instead of leaving the task to the shipyard, according to a defense analyst. (More Navy stories.)

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