The second aircraft carrier in the Navy’s new Gerald R. Ford class is now estimated to exceed a cap imposed by Congress by at least $370 million, according to the Pentagon’s independent cost office.
The working estimate for the USS John F. Kennedy is about $11.868 billion as of late last month, which would violate the congressionally mandated cap of $11.498 billion, according to data reviewed by Bloomberg News. The estimate isn’t final because the office is awaiting additional Navy information to verify the costs of research and military construction.
The latest estimate will invite more scrutiny from lawmakers of the increasing costs and delays in the Navy’s $42.8 billion program for three carriers being built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. The Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the annual defense authorization bill would direct the Government Accountability Office to review the Navy’s history of cost estimates for the ships.
“Accountability must be restored to the Ford-class aircraft carrier program,” Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, the committee’s chairman, said in an e-mailed statement in response to the new cost estimate. “Our nation simply cannot afford these kinds of cost overruns amid rising global threats and fiscal challenges.”