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US Navy Submits Unreliable Cost Estimate for Second Ford Class Aircraft Carrier

A report by GAO reveals that the US Navy failed to apply lessons from construction of the first of a new generation of aircraft carriers, which cost $2 billion more than estimated, by submitting an unrealistic estimate of labor hours needed to build a second ship.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Navy failed to apply lessons from construction of the first of a new generation of aircraft carriers, which cost $2 billion more than estimated, by submitting an unrealistic estimate of labor hours needed to build a second ship, according to an audit report by the General Accountability Office (GAO) on Tuesday.

"We recently reviewed the second Ford-Class ship, and found that the Navy is again underestimating its cost — potentially to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars," the release stated. "Navy developed an estimate for CVN 79 that assumes a reduction in labor hours needed to construct the ship that is unprecedented in the past 50 years of aircraft carrier construction."

CVN 79 refers to the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy, which the Navy estimated will cost $11.4 billion.

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The Navy accepted delivery of the first Ford-class carrier, the Gerald R. Ford, earlier this month, which cost $12.9 billion, 23 percent more than original estimates, the release explained.

An earlier report by the Congressional Budget Office also criticized Navy cost estimates for Ford-class ships, claiming projections do not account for inflation.

The GAO report recommended that the Navy submit a new, reliable cost estimate for the John F. Kennedy and obtain an independent estimate before requesting funding for future ships from Congress.

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