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Cost Estimating Concepts and Approaches for Modular Adaptable Ship Designs

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A defining characteristic of naval ship design (and engineering design in general) is that features are incorporated or rejected according to their predicted impacts on multiple criteria, some of which are difficult to quantify, and many of which are at least partially incompatible. This is a difficult problem which surfaces in its starkest form at the very highest level of decision-making, as performance criteria are traded off against their expected cost implications.

The desirability of modular and adaptable features in warship design is clear. Some of these features require little or nothing in the way of expensive, time-consuming, or risky technology development. Still, in some important historical cases including the DDG 51 design, a number of them were left on the cutting room floor due at least in part to the lack of a convincing economic case. In this paper, naval ship cost estimating principles and methods are introduced and suggested research topics are offered for more insightful approaches to evaluating the costs and benefits of future ship design flexibility.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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  • The Naval Engineers Journal is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE). ASNE is the leading professional engineering society for engineers, scientists and allied professionals who conceive, design, develop, test, construct, outfit, operate and maintain complex naval and maritime ships, submarines and aircraft and their associated systems and subsystems.
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