Carrier block buy may save Navy $1 billion to $2.5 billion

By Justin Katz  
March 6, 2018 at 4:52 PM

If the Navy pursues a block buy strategy for its next two aircraft carriers (CVN 80 and 81), the service anticipates it will save between $1 billion and $2.5 billion, according to the service's top acquisition official.

The Navy will continue to study that possibility through the spring, acquisition executive Hondo Geurts told the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee. 

He added the procurement strategy historically saved the Navy 10 percent on costs of the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

Talking to reporters after the hearing, Geurts stressed the Navy has not made a decision. “We have not decided to do it. We have not decided not to do it,” he said.

Geurts was testifying about the Navy’s fiscal year 2019 budget alongside Vice Adm. William Merz, deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems (N9), and Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, commanding general of Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

"A two-ship buy allows for design stability, lower material costs through economic order quantity procurements, and a reduction in engineering hours," Navy spokeswoman Colleen O'Rourke told Inside the Navy in 2016 when the service began studying a potential block buy. 

"With the incorporation of digital shipbuilding, production personnel would be able to use three-dimensional models to construct ship systems, therefore eliminating the need to create two-dimensional drawings and thereby reducing plans costs,” she said.