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by James Nault at legalinsurrection.com

The GAO reports that General Dynamics’ Electric Boat is “facing delays” with new strategic nuclear missile submarine program, has not completed a required “schedule risk analysis,” and that not “delivering [these] submarines on time could have consequences for the nation’s defense”

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), which provides “the public with timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can be used to improve government,” recently released a report raising concerns about the Navy’s Columbia Class ballistic (read nuclear) missile submarine program.

“After more than a year of full-scale construction on the lead Columbia submarine, the shipbuilders are facing delays because of challenges with design, materials, and quality.” Making matters worse, the lead shipbuilder on the project, General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Division (Electric Boat), has not conducted a “schedule risk analysis.” “Both GAO leading practices and Department of Defense (DOD) guidance identify schedule risk analysis as a critical tool for understanding and managing program risks that could impact the schedule.” The GAO explains that without the schedule risk analysis being conducted, “programs have limited insight into how schedule risks could affect the likelihood of achieving key program milestones, including delivery, and the amount of margin—or a reserve of extra time—needed to manage critical risks and avoid delays.” The GAO concludes, “[c]hallenges delivering Columbia class submarines on time could have consequences for the nation’s defense.” A detailed discussion follows.

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