Navy’s Minisub Program Canceled

Friday, April 21, 2006
A 12-year Navy program to develop six minisubs for commando missions has been canceled after a $446m investment, leaving the one and only sub at Pearl Harbor with an uncertain future, the Honolulu Advertiser reported. With an original estimate that a single sub would cost about $80m, the price tag for the one vessel that was delivered is $366m above projections. The 65-foot Advanced SEAL Delivery System, or ASDS, was heralded as a "transformational leap ahead" and was intended to deliver commandos dry and rested to a point of departure — rather than in the current underwater vehicles that are open to bone-chilling cold water and require the use of scuba gear. But after years of battery, noise and propulsion problems, the Pentagon canceled the Northrop Grumman project on April 6 because of performance and reliability concerns, the Navy said. An improvement program will be pursued for the sole ASDS, based at a SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 facility on Pearl City Peninsula. The entire program, including six minisubs and facilities in Hawaii and Little Creek, Va., was to cost $527m. (Source: Honolulu Advertiser)
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