Cost overruns suspend Smart Ship installation

Budget overruns led Navy officials to halt the installation of Smart Ship technology on
the amphibious ship USS Rushmore for a few weeks earlier this year, Navy records show.

When Navy officials realized the service had spent many millions of dollars more than
it had budgeted for the project, they halted the project.

The Navy issued a stop-work order and required all contractor and government personnel
to leave the Rushmore until funding and contracting issues could be resolved. Vendors
performing work on the ship included Electronic Design Inc. of Metairie, La., IDAX Inc. of
Norfolk, Va., and Raytheon Co.

“We still have significant discrepancies and incomplete work remaining from the
Phase I installations,” wrote Capt. Will Rodriguez in a Feb. 11 memorandum to his
admirals. “There are over 150 alarms with associated sensors that require
calibration, repair and, in some cases, installation.”

The alarms are meant to warn Smart Ship operators when a system has malfunctioned. A
Navy Smart Ship has literally hundreds of sensors—more sensors than any other ship in
its class, Navy officials said.

The stop-work order was lifted in April and the Phase 1 installation and sea trials
were completed in May, Navy officials said. The Rushmore, which has its home port in San
Diego, has since been deployed to Hawaii.  

—Gregory Slabodkin

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