The U.S. Navy has been struggling unsuccessfully for 20 years to increase the number of warships in its fleet above 300. If wants to keep up with China–which will have 400 warships by the end of the decade–it will have to adjust how it does business. In particular, it needs to be more predictable in its plans, more stable in its funding, and more consistent in setting the intervals between when ships are constructed. Right now, the Navy isn’t any of those things, and as a result it wastes a lot of time and money on warships that end up costing more than they should. It’s not the fault of the shipyards. The government simply needs to pay closer attention to how shipyards operate, and how the way in which programs are scheduled and funded impacts those operations. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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