Investigating outfitting density as a cost driver in submarine construction
Terwilliger, Katherine M.
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Through the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) completed a study in 1992 where the NSRP identified the top-level parameters that have an effect on the cost of naval shipbuilding. These parameters, identified in the study Evaluating the Producibility of Ship Design Alternatives, are arrangements, simplicity, material, standardization and fabrication requirements. Since 2011, the Budget Control Act has created a climate wherein cost reductions dominate the program manager’s decision-making process. Consequently, it is important for submarine program managers to understand the limitations of submarine cost construction estimates. In Density as a Cost Driver in Naval Submarine Design and Procurement, a 2008 Naval Postgraduate School thesis, Benjamin P. Grant suggests the potential of applying a modular outfitting density factor into the submarine cost estimating process. This thesis investigates the arrangement aspect of the NSRP study using outfitting density, how tightly the submarine’s components are installed within a determined volume, and the correlation on production man-hours used to construct the submarine. The results of this study evaluate outfitting density and construction costs of historical submarines and find a positive correlation to aid cost estimators in determining if an outfitting density-adjusted cost estimating relationship (CER) is applicable for preparing submarine construction cost estimates.
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