19 April 2006

Advanced SEAL Delivery System Cancelled

Half a billion dollars later, a mini-sub designed to deliver a squad of Navy SEALs (special operations soldiers) from nuclear submarines or other long range transportation methods to shore, called the Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) has been cancelled. The prototype will be retained, and has apparently been in use for three years so far.

As noted previously at this blog, the original budget for the 60 ton battery powered submarine was $80 million per unit (hardly a bargain), while other developed nations, like Sweden, build their own more complex 1500 ton attack submarines, that have air independent diesel engines in addition to batteries, for half the projected unit price of the ASDS.

Meanwhile, a 60 ton surface ship to deliver the same number of SEALs, featured in Popular Science this month and discussed earlier at this site, will cost about $6 million for the boat, and an additional $4 million for a world class electronics suite, which will, among other things, provide the deployed soldiers with their own personal encrypted cell phone system, allowing them to dispense with ten or twenty pounds of communications equipment that they would otherwise need.

You can also rest assured that the Department of Defense will not hold Defense contractor on this project responsible for being grossly over budget on a project that ultimately failed to perform as promised.

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