Northrop Grumman rolled-out the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye this morning, giving journo hacks like me a chance to dig into a program that is almost never in the news.
A quick scan of the Department of Defense's budget justification books for 2006 and 2007 reveals a very interesting discovery. The navy's plan to buy 75 E-2D aircraft with their rotating UHF-band APY-9 electronically scanned arrays remains the same, but the cost from last year to this year has jumped nearly $1.3 billion!
On page 1 of the 2007 document there is a cryptic reference to a "program replan precipitated by cost growth in the areas of air vehicle design and parts/materials."
It's never a surprise when there is a DOD acquisition program experiences cost growth.
Maybe I'm not cynical enough yet, but it is still a shock to me that the cost of a single program can jump $1.3 billion and no one in the public even notices. You wonder what else you may not have seen in all those pages of budget documents released every year. '