Spencer is 'pretty confident' in FFG(X) price tag estimate

By Justin Katz  
April 10, 2019 at 4:10 PM

The Navy secretary today said he is "pretty confident" that the service's projected cost for the first next-generation frigate will be accurate, one day after a government watchdog criticized the Navy for underestimating the price on its most expensive shipbuilding program.

"I read the latest [Government Accountability Office] report on the Columbia, and one of the things the Navy is criticized for is not estimating the costs in an appropriate manner -- that we underestimated," Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told the House Armed Services Committee today.

Spencer was referring to a GAO report published yesterday that questioned the reliability of the service's cost projections for the Columbia-class submarine program.

"I'm hoping and I'm pretty confident the number that we're projecting is the first ship number," he said in response to a question from Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL). Spencer also said the service is continuing to aim for an $800 million price tag for follow-on ships.

The Navy's fiscal year 2020 budget request, which includes procuring the program's lead ship, includes roughly $1.3 billion for the next-generation frigate program, dubbed FFG(X).