Operating and support costs and affordability of a 324 ship Naval battle force
Antonucci, Kevin C.
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The purpose of this research was to determine both the added operating and support (OandS) costs and affordability of operating and maintaining a future naval battle force of 324 ships as proposed in the Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan. Cost estimation including regression, 3-year moving averages, point, expert and analogous modeling was used to capture both historical and future OandS costs from FY1991 to FY2024. With an emphasis on the three main cost drivers, (manpower, fuel and maintenance) which arguably had the largest influence on ships' OandS costs, data were obtained from the Visibility and Management of Operating and Support Cost (VAMOSC) database and various Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs). Analysis and modeling followed suite in order to forecast expected future costs and affordability for a proposed 12.5 percent growth in naval fleet size by FY2024. Reviewing all 29 classes of ship within the expected FY2024 battle force, normalized results from the cost estimation models yielded a minimum cost growth of 17 percent in OandS costs. Even if budget growth trend rates were to remain steady, negating the possibility of budget decreases, this thesis argues the Navy would still not be able to afford its proposed future battle force in FY2024.
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