PROCUREMENT: Navy, Newport News Taking Steps Towards Two-Carrier Buy.

The Navy today moved towards signing the first two-carrier contract since the Reagan Administration, asking builder Newport News Shipbuilding for additional data on the cost-savings potential for buying CVNs 80 and 81 together.

The service released a request for proposal to the company this afternoon, with the hopes of receiving the necessary cost and schedule predictions by late summer or early fall and potentially reaching a two-carrier agreement with Newport News Shipbuilding by the end of the calendar year.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts told reporters today that it is still unclear what the final product would be after today’s RFP – whether it would be a construction contract for two aircraft carriers, or some other means of allowing for the Navy and its prime contractor to buy two ship-sets of materials at a time.

“If you’re building two of these, your return on investment and the sharing between the government and industry to drive towards affordability, I think, there’s a much better return on investment,” he said.

For example, “instead of buying one set of parts we buy two sets of parts.”

Here’s to hoping, but government spending rarely seems to work out that way.