Defense Acquisitions: Challenges Facing the DD(X) Destroyer Program Source: General Accounting Office Ref: GAO-04-973 Issued September 3, 2004 33 pages in PDF formatThe US Navy is moving too quickly to develop the DD(X) next-generation destroyer, relying on technologies that have yet to be fully proven, the GAO says in this report. Echoing previous warnings about Pentagon development programs, the GAO cautions that the rush to build the first DD(X)-class ship could backfire, making the ship more expensive and delaying its completion. The most critical technologies on which the DD(X) design is based -- electric power, automated fire fighting, steering and others – are yet to be developed, and if they ultimately do not perform as planned the Navy could be forced redesign the ship, thereby adding to its cost and schedule. The first DD(X) destroyer is scheduled to be commissioned into the US Navy in 2010. To meet this program goal, the current schedule calls for a March 2005 go-ahead for detailed design and construction of the lead ship. Congress already has agreed to provide about $1.2 billion in FY2005 for research and development on the program. However, the Navy does not plan to demonstrate DD(X) technology maturity and design stability until after the decision to authorize construction of the lead ship, creating risk that cost, schedule, and performance objectives will not be met.