WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Navy’s top weapons buyer was on Capitol Hill this week pitching block buy contracting authority as a way for the service to cut both the cost of large programs and time required to field capabilities.
Since becoming the Navy’s chief weapons buyer, finding ways to save money throughout the department has been the focus of James Geurts, the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. Appearing during a Wednesday House Armed Services Committee hearing, Geurts said the Navy is exploring whether block buy contracting could help make large purchases more affordable.
“How do we create the right business environment to allow business to operate cost-effectively and with an element of urgency,” Geurts said.
Block buy contracting, something the Navy has only used for a couple of recent large purchases was described by Geurts as being an authority worth exploring more.
Citing the Virginia-class block buy as an example, Geurts said “We’re delivering submarines to the fleet two years earlier at a greatly reduced price with a more capable submarine. That to me is a good mission outcome.”
The block buy contract for the next batch of 10 Virginia-class submarines will save the Navy $5.4 billion, Geurts said after the hearing. Continuous production on the Columbia-class will save $1.2 billion.
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