The Navy’s ManTech office, managed by the Office of Naval Research, is continuing to support the Virginia Class Program Office in its efforts to reach its cost reduction goals as mandated by the Chief of Naval Operations. The Navy ManTech program works with defense contractors, the Naval Research Enterprise, Navy acquisition program offices, and academia to develop improved processes and equipment. Project success is measured by implementation of these technologies on the factory floor and rapid transition to the fleet to support Navy warfighters. Beginning last fiscal year, a concerted effort to prioritize cost-reduction Virginia-class ManTech projects was made. Since this refocused start, seven of the affordability focused projects have completed and are in some phase of implementation. Currently, there are more than 60 different Navy ManTech projects focused on Virginia-class manufacturing technology priorities.
So far, ManTech-related cost savings by the Virginia Class Program Office and General Dynamics, Electric Boat Corporation have realized $1.6 million per-hull cost savings. Projects approved to improve the manufacturing process to date include Ultralight Welding Systems, Composite Flood Gates, and laser Projection. The ManTech total project portfolio has a potential total cost savings of approximately $30 million per hull.
During the last affordability assessment, ManTech, in concert with the submarine prime contractors and the Virginia Class Program Office, assessed the current total of more than 60 projects at a combined ManTech investment of approximately $39 million. The resulting estimate for cost savings of these projects means that ManTech will see a return on its investments in less than two hulls.
"I am very pleased with the successful project implementations and associated cost savings resulting from the strong partnership Navy ManTech has formed with the Virginia Class Program Office and the submarine industrial base," said ONR ManTech program manager John C. Carney. "The Navy ManTech team looks forward to building on these successes and continuing to develop and transition key manufacturing technology improvements to make a significant impact to the Virginia cost reduction effort."
"The ONR ManTech program is playing a significant role in the Virginia-class submarine cost-reduction effort by allowing the program to investigate an unusually wide range of cost-saving, manufacturing technologies," said Capt. David C. Johnson, the Virginia class program manager. "ManTech contributions have already facilitated solutions with real cost savings on the upcoming Block III contract, and its portfolio of current projects and proposed tasks, numbering in excess of 60, are expected to continue to provide significant cost reductions on future contracts. PMS450 is appreciative of the strong support from the Office of Naval Research and will work aggressively to transition and implement manufacturing technology improvements."
Managed within the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Navy ManTech program provides for the development of enabling manufacturing technology and the transition of this technology for the production and sustainment of Navy weapon systems to support the fleet. Navy ManTech is currently focused on shipbuilding affordability. Reducing the acquisition cost of current and future platforms is a critical goal of the Navy, and ManTech aids in achieving this goal by developing and transitioning key manufacturing technologies.