The Navy announced today that it will issue a revised Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Future Surface Combatant Program. Formerly known as DD 21, the program will now be called "DD(X)" to more accurately reflect the program purpose, which is to produce a family of advanced technology surface combatants, not a single ship class.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz approved the revised program focus and reaffirmed the Department's support for the Future Surface Combatant Program.
"President Bush has made transformation of the Department of Defense a high priority. Through DD(X), the Navy has charted a course to transformation that will provide capability across the full spectrum of naval warfare. The Navy's strategy supports assured access to littoral regions and also develops the capability to defeat the air and missile defense threats the nation's naval forces will face in the future."
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics E. C. "Pete" Aldridge stated that "the new program focus and new RFP will enable the Navy to fully leverage the great work already done by the two industry teams, continue risk mitigation measures and permit appropriate spiral development of technology and engineering to support a range of future surface ships to meet our Nation's maritime requirements well into the 21st Century," Aldridge said. "The DD(X) program will be the technology driver for the surface fleet of the future."
"With the approval of this strategy, the Navy has defined its surface combatant roadmap for the future in a manner which ensures all maritime missions can be accomplished. Through DD(X), we are taking a significant step toward providing improved combat capability for our Sailors and Marines," said Navy Secretary Gordon England.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark said the DD(X) program reflects an awareness that effectively defeating future threats, while accomplishing naval missions, will require a range of naval capabilities and different surface platforms.
"One size fits all will not work on the future battlefield," Clark said. "We must continue to exploit the robust R&D effort made on DD 21 even as we focus our research and technology funding of other approaches such as the Littoral Combat Ship concept."
The DD(X) program will provide a baseline for spiral development of the DD(X) and the future cruiser or "CG(X)" with emphasis on common hullform and technology development. The Navy will use the advanced technology and networking capabilities from DD(X) and CG(X) in the development of the Littoral Combat Ship with the objective being a survivable, capable near-land platform to deal with threats of the 21st century. The intent is to innovatively combine the transformational technologies developed in the DD(X) program with the many ongoing R&D efforts involving mission focused surface ships to produce a state-of-the art surface combatant to defeat adversary attempts to deny access for US forces.
The revision of the program is based on the Navy's continued careful examination of DD21 as it reached the source selection milestone this past spring. At that time, the Navy delayed the down-select decision between the two competing DD21 teams in order to take advantage of ongoing reviews being conducted in the Department of Defense, including the Quadrennial Defense Review. The Navy expects to issue the revised RFP within the next few weeks, and to down-select a single industry team to be the design agent and technology developer this Spring.