By Jacqueline Klimas

3 May 2016

Extending the deployment of the Harry S. Truman strike group by just one month could end up costing the government tens of millions more dollars because of the inefficiency caused by shifting plans, one analyst said. Bryan Clark, a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said that extending a carrier’s time at sea could raise costs by creating more wear and tear on the ship. The larger cost increase, however, comes from shipyards redoing their plans now that they will be receiving the ship for its maintenance period a month later.

“It creates all kinds of friction in private companies that work with the shipyard to get the maintenance period completed,” he said. “Companies have all built their schedule plans around the ship getting back on a certain day… If the ship is a month later, it may be a totally different group of people to do the job.”

Shipyards will often hire contractors to come on board for maintenance periods, but those contractors may no longer be available for the job a month later. This creates a “very inefficient” re-planning process when a maintenance period must be delayed.

Carrier maintenance periods often cost $100 to $200 million, Clark said. He estimated that this additional friction and changing of plans could increase costs by about 10 percent, or about $10 to $20 million.

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