$240 million

…that’s how much the Navy estimates it would cost to develop a second source to integrate its existing Trident II inter-continental ballistic missiles into “the OHIO Replacement and United Kingdom (UK) Successor Programs, and 2) the design of an updated Missile Service Unit (MSU) that will be compatible with existing and new fleets.”

And that’s why it’s not planning on doing it Instead, it will award the work, without competition, to the current contractor, the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.

Lockheed

This isn’t quite like the costly military-ordered coffee pots and hammers of the 1980s that led to the creation of competition advocate generates for a time. Nuclear weapons are a highly-specialized business, as the justification for the sole-source contract makes clear. What’s also interesting is the Navy’s apparent plan to install old missiles aboard new submarines.

The Navy’s Strategic Systems Program sought other suppliers, but “but did not receive any credible inquiries of interest,” it said. “SSP will continue to monitor the market in an attempt to identify potential sources of these supplies and services for future requirements, while analyzing any potential impact to cost, schedule and program risk.”

Yeah, right.

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Keith_L
Keith_L

It should be pointed out that Lockheed Martin has been the prime contractor for SSP for over 50 years.  The knowledge possessed by those who work there is of irreplaceable value to the Nation.  Since NASA isn't in the rocket business anymore the only way to grow a new competitor would be by giving them a lot of money to make mistakes while the prime contractor still makes sure the mission is accomplished, not exactly a recipe for saving money. 

An no, I don't work for Lockheed or the government but I did spend 3 years serving on an SSBN.


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