DID’s CVN-21 Cost Summary

Costing the CVN-21: A DID Primer

Joe Katzman at Defense Industry Daily has put together a truly amazing cost analysis of the new CVN-21 aircraft carrier. For those interested in the Navy and shipbuilding, this is a must-read. It’s a lengthy gold mine of information, yet is very readable by regular folks like you and me. Go read.


  1. Amazing indeed – For example – the ship cost of a CVN-21 is described as CVN 79, which is expected to begin construction in 2011-2012, would then be expected to have a construction cost of $7.9 to 8.1 billion in FY 2008 dollars, as NAVSEA expects the cost of follow-on ships to go down by about $100-200 million per ship due to production and workforce efficiencies. Fair enough.. but when talking abut the Nimitz class cost… CVN 76 [USS Ronald Reagan, est. costs of $4.8-5 billion] reflect a ship procured in FY 1995. This cost does not reflect 13 years of inflation. Correcting the inflation effects alone would increase the $4.8B price to $8.0B. Shipyard workload differences would further increase this cost.’ So does this mean – that the CVN-21 is immune to inflation? And how come when making a CVN-21 – the cost per ship goes down due to shipyard effieiencies, but for a Nimitz class, the cost goes up due to shipyard workload differences??