In the coming few days, the U.S. Navy is suposed to award a corporate team to design the DD-X, the lead ship in a new family of smaller U.S.warships.
"We still intend to make the down-select decision by the end of April," said Navy spokesman Lt. Bill Speaks, in a published wire report.
Some indications point to this Friday for the announcement. The DD-X program, which effectively replaced the scuttled DD-21 program last Fall, is much anticipated in defense circles as it represents the biggest contract opportunity in a much slimmed defense shipbuilding buying program.
Speaks said the decision "could come any day," but declined to confirm an announcement would be made on Friday.
Rival teams led by General Dynamics Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. are vying for the contract to be the "lead design agent" on the DD-X, which will have big implications for the design of the other ships in the class. General Dynamics is partnered with Lockheed Martin Corp. in the competition, while Northrop is working with Raytheon Co.
The winner will receive $350 million in fiscal 2002 funds to design the DD-X, which will include electric drive propulsion and other advanced technologies, as well as much smaller crew requirements.
The Bush administration has requested $961 million for fiscal 2003 for the project, which will be awarded sometime after September.
The potential value of the DD-X design contract
is huge, but it is not being awarded on a "winner-take-all". (Staff & Wire reports)