The Navy will set the technical baseline for the Ohio Replacement Program ballistic missile submarine next week and lay out a process to keep design changes and cost increases in the Navy’s next nuclear ballistic missile submarine to a minimum.
George Drakeley, the executive director of the Program Executive Office for Submarines, said Thursday at the 2015 Naval Submarine League annual symposium that the program is moving forward in preparation for a design contract to be awarded about a year from now.
Next week the program office will meet with Navy leadership to set the technical baseline for the ship, in an an acquisition approval step called Gate 4.
“We kind of thought that we were past the issues of needing a Gate 4, but [Navy acquisition chief Sean] Stackley wants to have one because he wants to set the tech baseline,” Drakeley said.
“He’s very adamant about controlling cost. He’s a big supporter of the submarine community, he understands the good we do, but he also wants to continue controlling cost, reducing cost, and that’s an emphasis of his. So we’ll be setting the tech baseline with Gate 4, which means the [capability development document] and the specs and developing a process for change – because he feels change in the process is a big cost-driver and he’s going to minimize that to the greatest extent possible.”
Once the baseline is set, the program will meet with the Defense Acquisition Board to get approval to release a request for proposals (RFP) soon, with a contract expected to be awarded next fall.