Navy and Pentagon acquisition officials this week spent a day at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Connecticut and Rhode Island, taking a close look at the Columbia class — formerly the Ohio Replacement Program — ahead of a Milestone B decision this fall, the Navy’s acquisition chief told USNI News.
Sean Stackley, the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) was previously expected to send the program into engineering and manufacturing development in August. However, that DAB decision to approve Milestone B was pushed back to allow for a day-long deep dive at the Electric Boat facility.
“The DAB was scheduled for the end of August. What we – and I say we as the Navy with [Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall] – decided would be a worthwhile thing to do is rather than go straight to a DAB, where there’s a bunch of information presented leading up to a decision, that we would spend a day with the shipbuilders at the shipyard doing a deep technical dive on the status of design, development, production planning, early production activities, the schedule, take a look at the cost, cost-reduction initiatives, these sorts of things,” Stackley told USNI News after a giving a speech at the Marine Corps Association’s annual combat development dinner.
Due to schedule conflicts, the visit to Electric Boat was pushed back to this Tuesday, Stackley said, “so that’s done and the DAB now is scheduled for the first week in November. So things are on track.”
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