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Put simply: it could be taken out by a WWII Japanese kamikaze pilot.
August 3, 2008 11:24 PM   Subscribe

What's as big as a battleship, looks like a star destroyer, and can't do much of anything?

A Zumwalt class destroyer! (US Navy DDG-1000)

$10 billion spent on research so far, and (assuming typical cost overruns) it may cost as much as $5 billion per ship.

Due to its cost, the Zumwalt program was already in trouble when, on Thursday, the navy revealed for the first time that the ship can do far less than advertised. Most importantly, contrary to its manufacturer's design specifications, "the DDG-1000 cannot perform area air defense; specifically, it cannot successfully employ the Standard Missile-2 (SM-2), SM-3 or SM-6."

"Area air defense" means using surface-to-air missiles to shoot down enemy anti-ship missiles while those anti-ship missiles are still far away. This is not a new idea; the "Standard" series of missiles dates back to the start of the Vietnam war. Since anti-ship missiles are now quite commonplace (Hezbollah seems to have used one in 2006), a Zumwalt could not go anywhere without an also-very-expensive escort to defend it.

Informed bloggery can be found here .Thanks to "Fauxmaxbaer," whose comment at this blog here gave my post its title. Yes, the post title is hyperbole, but not by much.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow (62 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
My first post -- go easy on me. I thought this might be of interest to people who like to keep track of wasteful government spending, and to people who like things that go kaboom.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:25 PM on August 3, 2008


The helicopter must be used for delivering "Mission Accomplished" banners.
posted by clearly at 11:41 PM on August 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Interesting, and a good post.
posted by scottymac at 11:47 PM on August 3, 2008


You mean it's meant to do stuff? I thought it was just an accounting trick to shovel money at Raytheon.
posted by pompomtom at 11:48 PM on August 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


looks like a star destroyer

Actually it kind of reminds me more of one of those weird looking civil war ships.

Isn't retaining destroyers kind of a Ronald Reagan thing?
posted by Artw at 11:49 PM on August 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Zumwalt? Zumwalt? For real?

Now we actually design weapons that have names that sound like comic book Nazi super-weapons?

Tell me staight: we are the baddies, right?
posted by sourwookie at 11:49 PM on August 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Future upgrades include the ability to launch Skull-bots.
posted by Artw at 11:51 PM on August 3, 2008


could not go anywhere without an also-very-expensive escort to defend it.
does this imply already existing escort vessels are capable of what the zumwald-class has turned out not to be or is this something new they wanted to do that just happens to have turned out tougher than they expected? alas, I am reminded of the botched/faked missle-shield-games they played at vandenberg afb.

btw: the coast guard doesn't seem to fare much better: Four years ago the Coast Guard launched what is now a 24-billion dollar program to replace or rebuild nearly its entire fleet of planes, helicopters and large ships. The start-up has been rocky.
posted by krautland at 11:55 PM on August 3, 2008


My uninformed comment re aerial defense and the implication that they are vulnerable. So what? Battleships are accompanied by large fleets that perform defense for them. They are not expected to defend themselves solo.
posted by zippy at 11:56 PM on August 3, 2008


This is a sign of too much power higher-up; some head-honcho had plans for the navy that the lower-level guys could have told you were impractical or impossible, had they been asked.
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:58 PM on August 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ack, I retract my statement. I thought the Zumwalt was a battleship, not a destroyer.
posted by zippy at 11:58 PM on August 3, 2008


I tell you what really sucks, the awesomeness of Phalanx being replaced with some boring missile thing.
posted by Artw at 12:03 AM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Zumwalt? Zumwalt? For real?

Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr.
posted by longsleeves at 12:10 AM on August 4, 2008


Seriously, how could people not love the Phalanx?
posted by Artw at 12:12 AM on August 4, 2008


WASHINGTON, July 23 (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy decision to scrap the DDG-1000 destroyer program after just two ships could have "potentially devastating consequences" said Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican whose state includes General Dynamics Corp's (GD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Bath Iron Works shipyard.

The outrage in this FPP assumes (incorrectly, I think) that the Zumwalt-class destroyer was ever meant to be anything other than a sophisticated money-laundering gimmick. It wasn't. For projects like these, the actual end product (in this case, a laughably weak naval ship) isn't even important. They might as well have been building a 100-foot-tall nuclear-powered amphibious dildo. The point of the project isn't to build a new weapons system to protect America with. Our navy is already the best in the world and, even if we stopped building and researching new technology right now, would probably remain the best for another 30 years or so -- at least.

The quote from the Republican Senator says it all. This is going to have devastating consequences for our bottom line. The Zumwalt is an accounting gimmick to Bring Home Tha' Bacon to Sen. Collins' constituents. Not the constituents who vote for her, of course, but rather the "constituents" who keep her in fancy clothes and nice cars. (I count at least 3 Defense Contractors on that list, all of whom have their fingers in the Zumwalt pie. All of whom, together, "donated" more than $60,000 over the past 5 years. How nice!)

I've said it before, but why not say it again? Massive military procurement projects like this are really just ways of diverting billions in public funds into the hands of influential defense contractors. All the contractors have to do in return is provide some fussed-up prototypes that don't even work right and -- shazaam! -- reap a huge profit margin and earn 15% in the stock market this year.

Kleptocracy: you're living in it.
posted by Avenger at 12:13 AM on August 4, 2008 [42 favorites]


... as chief of naval operations in the early 1970's ordered the Navy to end racial discrimination and demeaning restrictions on sailors...

He didn't get rid of the silly looking uniforms though. What's with the uniforms, anyhow? How comes they don't upgrade to something less, well, screamingly camp?
posted by Artw at 12:14 AM on August 4, 2008


The millitary industrial complex just can't quit the cold war. None of these weapons systems are even remotely necessary, and yet the government still spends billions on them. When Condi rice started as National Security Adviser, her main goal was to push for a ballistic missile defense system, one which served no purpose other then to antagonize other countries (who would then be worried that we could nuke them with no fear of response if it worked -- which it never would have) and shovel money down the throats of military contractors.
posted by delmoi at 12:16 AM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I should note that $60,000 is just for the last 5 years. General Dynamics, Raytheon and United Technologies have "donated" more than $130,000 to Sen. Collins since she took office.

As someone else pointed out in a recent thread on Ted Stevens (Blazecock?), the bribery is even more shocking when you consider that, in the big scheme of things, its not even that much money. Washington isn't just a whore, she's a cheap two-dollar crack-smoking whore who could ask for more, but doesn't.
posted by Avenger at 12:21 AM on August 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


Goody! Navy talk!

Geez, we need escort vessels for our escort vessels now?

Actually this probably should have been classified as a CLG not a DDG. At 14000 tons it's almost as big as the Long Beach CGN, and damn near twice the displacement of the Spruances (8000t). Then again calling it a DDG makes it sound less expensive to build and operation, I guess.

Battleships are accompanied by large fleets that perform defense for them

Battleships are all deactivated as well they should be, along with the fleet carriers. UAVs piloted by joystick jockeys in Missouri FTW!

means using surface-to-air missiles to shoot down enemy anti-ship missiles while those anti-ship missiles are still far away

I've never stepped foot into a CIC but my time playing North Atlantic '86 tells me that the Standard is only useful for shooting down Iranian airliners enemy airborne platforms before they get into launch range. Perusing wikipedia I see they plan on creating a Frankenstein SM-2 with AMRAAM warhead to take out the sea skimmers, we'll see how that works I guess.

GFHC, I see it's carrying a single "155mm Advanced Gun System" into battle. $5B could have bought a couple of artillery divisions chock full of M109s, LOL.

the post title is hyperbole, but not by much

The dinky Perry-class FFG took two exocets 20 years ago and remained afloat, if not operational.

I love the navy but this nation needs a $200B/yr defense budget not the $700B/yr one we have now. oh, . . . lest I forget, thanks, Ralph.
posted by yort at 12:27 AM on August 4, 2008


Massive military procurement projects like this are really just ways of diverting billions in public funds into the hands of influential defense contractors

and then a portion of that right back into campaign contributions and soft money to the RNCC.

This is not to say that my Senator, that bitch Feinstein, has clean hands here, just that IMV the one feature of the erstwhile "Permanent Republican Majority" was the intent of strengthening Republican power-bases like the M-IC while weakening Dem powerbases like, er, the Girl Scouts I guess.
posted by yort at 12:31 AM on August 4, 2008


> and then a portion of that right back into campaign contributions and soft money to the RNCC.

I didn't know party affiliation came into it.
posted by pompomtom at 1:06 AM on August 4, 2008


He didn't get rid of the silly looking uniforms though. .

Actually, he did. The "Z-gram" refered to below is a policy document/order from Admiral Zumwalt during his time as Chief of Naval Operations.
In the early seventies ... “cracker jacks” or “bell bottoms, the traditional uniform worn by sailors up through E-6, came under renewed fire. While “bells” had been the subject of change for many years, a Navywide survey conducted in December 1970 showed that 80 percent of the 1,700 enlisted men polled favored a switch to the double-breasted coat uniform worn by officers and CPOs.

Whittet supported the change and reported to the CNO that sailors were complaining that “bells” did not make them feel like men. At the same time, the CNO was getting letters from wives who said they were “embarrassed to go in the store or to church with their husbands dressed like little boys.” They wanted to know why their husbands couldn’t wear suits like grown men. With the anti-military feeling in the country, sailors were being made targets of ridicule in their “crackerjacks.”

On June 13,1971, Z-Gram 87 went to the fleet, advising of a uniform change that would put recruits to admirals in the same type of uniform. The new uniform would be issued to recruits beginning July 1, 1973. All sailors would be wearing the new service dress blues by July 1, 1975. Also announced was the pendding demise of service dress khaki for officers and chiefs, effective July 1, 1975.

The announcement of the change to what later became known as the “salt pepper” uniform heralded the beginning of more than a decade of upheavel in uniform guidance.
But the change didn't stick.
The more modern enlisted uniforms which ADM Zumwalt had introduced were now to be phased out again. Back to the white hats (sometimes sneered at as "dixie cups"), 13-button blues, and neckerchiefs.
These were the best references I could track down quickly. This kind of thing is widely known among Navy people, but not widely written about.
posted by Jahaza at 1:18 AM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I didn't know party affiliation came into it.

I was talking bigger-picture effort in strengthening national-level political bases -- the $700B program in toto and not just each individual program.

Obviously every politician will fight for their district and the since the Defense budget get the lion's share of "discretionary" spending it is the hardest to cut.

Lest we forget, the $10B we've allegedly spent on DDG-1000, divided by $100k/yr, is 100,000 man-years, or 20,000 people working full-time over the past 5 years.
posted by yort at 1:28 AM on August 4, 2008


When you hear about one of these massive failures, don't you ever think "well, I guess a giant weapons system that doesn't do anything is a less harmful waste of tax dollars than ONE THAT ACTUALLY WORKS"?

As a fan of Things Blowing Up, I must admit I'd like to the the full working thing, launching skullbots and tie-fighters and what have you. But, still. Is this so bad?
posted by freebird at 1:30 AM on August 4, 2008


They might as well have been building a 100-foot-tall nuclear-powered amphibious dildo.

I'm pretty certain that's exactly what they did.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:44 AM on August 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm not outraged. After all, I'm not American, so it's not my money going to Raytheon. Bemused, perhaps.

Even battleships need air defense. Otherwise this happens, or this.

Yort, you're right, a Zumwalt isn't a DDG. However, it can't be a CLG either. The "G" indicates that the ship carries anti-air guided missiles. (obviously!)

I say a Zumwalt is a battlecruiser (BC-1000!) -- it's huge, fast, has loads of firepower, and unlike a battleship it is very lightly protected.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:48 AM on August 4, 2008


Geez, we need escort vessels for our escort vessels now?

Escort service.

Ask the Navy what the Navy needs, have the Navy state exact functional, price, and timing requirements, and then refuse even partial payment to contractors for anything that does not meet these requirements.
posted by pracowity at 1:49 AM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I say a Zumwalt is a battlecruiser

And don't we just know how well those turned out.
posted by Skeptic at 2:12 AM on August 4, 2008


It seems to me a bit late to notice that what America has become is capitalism for the middle class and socialism for the defense and other corporations...the govt funds and gets return support from those relying upon its largesse, while those who post here and comment here are subject to the travails of the market place--low minimum wage; unemployment; globalization; lack of health care and on and on.
posted by Postroad at 2:27 AM on August 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Total Annihilation had better navel units than that 11 years ago.
posted by srboisvert at 3:20 AM on August 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I say a Zumwalt is a battlecruiser
Seems to me that it's more of a monitor, in the WW I sense.
posted by Zonker at 3:53 AM on August 4, 2008


I've said it before, but why not say it again? Massive military procurement projects like this are really just ways of diverting billions in public funds into the hands of influential defense contractors.

What I have never understood is why massive civilian procurement projects to, for instance, repair infrastructure, develop new energy sources, improve education and preserve the environment can't serve the same function. Why is wasteful spending on the military acceptable, but the same spending on you and me is, simply, "wasteful."

yes, it's a naive question. please respond seriously
posted by nax at 5:32 AM on August 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


I've said it before, but why not say it again? Massive military procurement projects like this are really just ways of diverting billions in public funds into the hands of influential defense contractors.

One of the most important functions of the government is to collect money from the citizens and then to spend the money. Democrats like to spend money on social programs that help the poor. In this sense, they are collecting everyone's money and trying to give it to the poor. Republicans like to spend money on contracts for corporations that help the rich. In this sense, they are collecting everyone's money and trying to give it to the rich.

The Republicans are very pro-war because it is the easiest way to directly give money to corporations. As long as they are able to continue to successfully make the claim that it is unpatriotic to not support giving large sums of money to corporations, then things will not really change.
posted by flarbuse at 5:38 AM on August 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


So it's basically the Windows Vista of destroyer ships?
posted by Afroblanco at 6:29 AM on August 4, 2008


huh, kinda looks like this russian yacht...
posted by kliuless at 6:51 AM on August 4, 2008


Eliding budget and M/I Complex arguments, I'm wondering why every ship in the Navy needs to be able to handle ABM defense, Air Theatre Defense, and Point Defense.

The whole point of different classes is specialization. the CG47 and DDG51 are specialized theater air defense boats, and the CG47s can do ABM as well.

I can see dozens of reasons to cancel this ship -- but lack of theater air defense isn't really one of them. It does limit it to fleet deployments, but this is too big a ship to be good in littoral waters, so fleet defense or landing support is a natural role.

Having said that, I think the Navy is better off with more DDG51, esp. when you look at the costs.
posted by eriko at 7:46 AM on August 4, 2008


"Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr."

...I own a mansion and a yacht.
posted by majick at 7:49 AM on August 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


It seems to me a bit late to notice that what America has become is capitalism for the middle class and socialism for the defense and other corporations...the govt funds and gets return support from those relying upon its largesse, while those who post here and comment here are subject to the travails of the market place

So those 20,000 people employed on this for the last five years...the income, health insurance and other benefits they get from their employers, who get their profit from the government, this is not indirectly relying on the government's largesse? Seems more like this is socialism for the middle class disguised as capitalism so that nobody looks red.
posted by spicynuts at 8:12 AM on August 4, 2008


but this is too big a ship to be good in littoral waters

actually that was supposed to be its mission as inherited from the DD-21 program . . . tough to be a Land Attack Destroyer with that spiffy 6.1" main gun when you're afraid of approaching the hostile shore.
posted by yort at 8:12 AM on August 4, 2008


Future upgrades include toilet paper made out of tax payer's money! Finally something that would work for the task it was designed to do... Never mind they just said that too would need a roll of quilted northern for an escort as well.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:15 AM on August 4, 2008


It does limit it to fleet deployments, but this is too big a ship to be good in littoral waters
The Navy is not exactly excelling in the littoral ship arena either. But they're further along with it than with the Zumwalt class boats.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 8:20 AM on August 4, 2008


Wow, I don't think the Navy has spent this much on escort services since the '91 Tailhook convention.
posted by Muddler at 8:27 AM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


People who criticize our money-wasting fake weapons clearly hate America. And they make a good point.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:36 AM on August 4, 2008


Lest we forget, the $10B we've allegedly spent on DDG-1000, divided by $100k/yr, is 100,000 man-years, or 20,000 people working full-time over the past 5 years.

It's a government welfare program. 20 000 people who are paid out of your taxes.

Shame they aren't something you need, like public nurses.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:36 AM on August 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


It seems like all of the prototypes or mock-ups of navy ships I've seen recently are really poor renders, like exceedingly bad quality.
posted by boo_radley at 8:42 AM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why is wasteful spending on the military acceptable, but the same spending on you and me is, simply, "wasteful."

Serious answer: Because military spending is federal spending, ostensibly done for the benefit of all; and infrastructure spending is largely done by states, counties and cities, done for the benefit of those states, counties and cities.

When you can spread the costs and benefits among a larger group of people, it's easier to swallow. When the costs and benefits are local, more people are likely to holler about it.

In other words, if you build a billion-dollar bridge in California, the people of Texas won't want to pay for it, unless you build them a bridge (or something similar), too.

It is remarkably silly to be building a new class of destroyer in the age of satellite-guided munitions; when the platform for the current destroyer class is already the best in the world, and can remain so effectively forever with upgrades to engines, weaponry and software; and when your primary military weakness is a lack of Arabic-speaking translators.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:09 AM on August 4, 2008


In other words, if you build a billion-dollar bridge in California, the people of Texas won't want to pay for it, unless you build them a bridge (or something similar), too.

Right. So, how many bridges in how many communities would this $20bil (or whatever it was) have built? Bridges (or public nurses, or free university education, or flood protection or wilderness preservation ) for everyone!
posted by nax at 9:18 AM on August 4, 2008


So, how many bridges in how many communities would this $20bil (or whatever it was) have built?

Well, if you think about my answer ... none. Or rather, much fewer than you'd want, and slower than you want it to happen.

This is federal money, collected via federal taxes. It's best spent on things the federal government is good at and wants to do. Like, ahem, military spending.

This is not a Good Thing, mind you. I'd prefer a serious expansion to veterans benefits. But even better would be to reduce taxes by $20 billion and let people tax themselves locally and/or spend their money on things they'd like to spend it on. In California, that might be better schools. In Texas, that might be bridges.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:42 AM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just want to note that as a Missouri boy, what first came to mind was Fort Zumwalt.
posted by cgk at 9:52 AM on August 4, 2008


I bet this is all just a viral ad for Under Siege 3; Under Siegier.

$10 billion spent on research so far, and (assuming typical cost overruns) it may cost as much as $5 billion per ship... the navy revealed for the first time that the ship can do far less than advertised. Most importantly, contrary to its manufacturer's design specifications, "the DDG-1000 cannot perform area air defense;

I have a hugely entertaining idea; let's not pay them. If Northrop Grumman said it could do something which it can't, then let's not pay them for it until they can make it work as advertised.
posted by quin at 10:37 AM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yay! This oughta hurt Collins.
posted by rusty at 11:00 AM on August 4, 2008


Serious answer: Because military spending is federal spending, ostensibly done for the benefit of all; and infrastructure spending is largely done by states, counties and cities, done for the benefit of those states, counties and cities.

Military spending is mostly pork that benefits specific states, counties and cities, just as transportation infrastructure like highways and bridges benefit specific states, counties and cities.

Bringing and maintaining local, pork-barrel military contracting jobs is why, for example, former Rep. Curt Weldon (ironically, a Republican) managed to keep his job for as long as he did by feeding tax dollars to Boeing in SE Pennsylvania -- not to mention former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, another Republican (sensing a pattern here), for Lockheed Martin in his hometown of Marietta, Georgia.

Meanwhile, Minnesota is lucky to get the capped federal FEMA funding of $5 million to deal with the aftermath of the collapsed I-35 bridge that killed thirteen and injured hundreds. I guess their Republican governor didn't have enough friends in high places.

Nonetheless, whether it is guns or butter, military spending benefits "all" only in the same sense that transportation infrastructure is built to benefit "all". Which is to say, not one iota.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:01 AM on August 4, 2008


"Why is wasteful spending on the military acceptable, but the same spending on you and me is, simply, "wasteful.""

Because, and I'm blanking on the economic term here, the amount that an investment in infrastructure (or education, which is more frequently cited) is multiplied by is greater than one, whereas military spending multiplies the economic effect of the money by less than one. If I recall correctly from that class long ago, the ratios are something like that for every dollar invested in education, roughly two dollars are returned to the economy, as opposed to military spending, which returns something like seventy-two cents per dollar.

Again, real economists please feel free to correct me and my terminology—I only remember this as a unit in a larger public policy class.
posted by klangklangston at 11:16 AM on August 4, 2008


Because, and I'm blanking on the economic term here, the amount that an investment in infrastructure (or education, which is more frequently cited) is multiplied by ... Again, real economists please feel free to correct me and my terminology

Hey look -- you're a Keynesian, describing a macroeconomic model of a virtuous circle.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:36 PM on August 4, 2008


Yeah, the term I was looking for was, I believe, the spending multiplier, but I've been unable to find any papers that give comparative numbers broken down by sector. I know that one was in my textbook, but I took the fractional multiplier of selling it back at the end of the course.

I had been looking for the "money multiplier," which was different (how interest makes wealth). I had assumed that I was just wildly off on my memory of the term, since I'd also searched with "multiplier" in my strings, and all I kept coming across were tests and syllabi that said that students should expect to be able to calculate the money or spending multipliers by the end of the course. Perhaps someone with a better econ search head can find 'em.
posted by klangklangston at 1:42 PM on August 4, 2008


justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow writes "My first post -- go easy on me. I thought this might be of interest to people who like to keep track of wasteful government spending,"

Usually bad post.

justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow writes "and to people who like things that go kaboom."

Usually awesome post, especially if there are actual explosions.
posted by Mitheral at 1:42 PM on August 4, 2008


I can see dozens of reasons to cancel this ship -- but lack of theater air defense isn't really one of them. It does limit it to fleet deployments, but this is too big a ship to be good in littoral waters, so fleet defense or landing support is a natural role.

Having said that, I think the Navy is better off with more DDG51, esp. when you look at the costs.
posted by eriko at 7:46 AM on August 4 [+] [!]


The Navy has something for that:

http://peoships.crane.navy.mil/lcs/
posted by basicchannel at 2:02 PM on August 4, 2008


Just sell them to Australia, we'll buy any old shit.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:28 PM on August 4, 2008


Just sell them to Australia, we'll buy any old shit.

We could chalk this one up to Aussie modesty ... but dude? Austal is actually leading the way in next-gen naval vessels. Like the Littoral Combat Ship mentioned above.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:59 PM on August 4, 2008


Actually I was thinking of all the dud stuff we've recently been gathering unto our well-trained yet ill-equipped Defence Force. This article is oldish but gives you the gist.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:38 PM on August 4, 2008


roughly two dollars are returned to the economy, as opposed to military spending, which returns something like seventy-two cents per dollar.

it was when I was riding through the streets of Tokyo and seeing their big-ass overhead structural-steel-supported viaducts where it hit me that not every government dollar brought the same ROI, and that Japan used a lot more tons of steel building their transit infrastructure than the warships constructed for WW2, and for a lot better long-term return.

It basically comes down to opportunity costs. The $30B that the high-speed rail corridor is estimated to cost California is about 5% of the present cost of seeing Saddam dangle by a rope.

Hell, it looks like for the cost of a destroyed division of these DDX-1000's we could have gotten the high-speed rail corridor instead.
posted by yort at 7:10 PM on August 4, 2008


Lest we forget, the $10B we've allegedly spent on DDG-1000, divided by $100k/yr, is 100,000 man-years, or 20,000 people working full-time over the past 5 years.

You're making the assumption that 20,000 people worked on this project. Yeah, no. While they (Northrop Grumman Corp) have 125,000 employees, it wouldn't really be wise to say every one had a hand in this. The more likely (albeit completely made up) figure is that $3.5 Billion went towards actual costs and the rest went into company coffers which then pile up with all the other contract monies to pay salaries as per usual. Any money remaining (which I'm sure is a lot) then get's pumped into various executive pockets with a bit going to shareholders.

Remember that Northrop Grumman doesn't have just this one contract. They also are involved with other contracts here and more abroad. One persons salary is not dependent on the success of this project. Most employees will be working on 4 projects or so during the year.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 8:18 AM on August 5, 2008


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