Navy sees year delay in delivery of General Dynamics warships

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 09, 2015 10:57 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Dynamics Corp will deliver two Zumwalt-class destroyers a year later than planned, U.S. Navy officials said, blaming complications related to new technology.

The Navy is adjusting its official baseline for the $22 billion DDG 1000 ship program to reflect the new delivery dates but the change will not trigger a mandatory review since the resulting cost increase will be under 15 percent, a defense official told Reuters, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Navy spokeswoman Commander Thurraya Kent said the delays were mainly due to challenges with the integration, installation and testing of unique technology on the new class of warships.

She said the Navy was working closely with General Dynamics to control cost increases and evaluate the impact on the schedule for other ships under construction at the company's shipyard in Bath, Maine, including DDG 51 Aegis destroyers.

Kent said the USS Zumwalt, or DDG 1000, was about 94 percent complete and should be delivered in November 2015 rather than September 2014 as originally planned. She said the company expected to deliver the second ship, DDG 1001, in November 2016, nearly a year after its original due date this December.

There was no change in the scheduled delivery of the third and final ship in the class, DDG 1002, which remains December 2018.

A second Navy official said the Navy now expected to declare the first DDG 1000 ship ready for combat use in September 2018, about two years later than expected.

The delays were first reported by Bloomberg on Monday.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Alan Raybould)