Perplexing Suggestion from former Sub Rear Admiral
Perplexing Submarine Suggestion from former Rear Adm. Padgett (background)
1- The article identified at least four (4) capacities in which the good admiral may have been speaking. Obviously, he is a) a resident of Connecticut and b) an admiral with decades of submarine experience. What are the other two capacities?
ANS: c) national president of the Naval Submarine League; d) vice president of business development and strategic planning for General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB) Division since December 2003.
2- The admiral made one very perplexing suggestion (the others we have likely heard before); what was the suggestion that raised obvious questions not answered in the article?
ANS: Padgett "called on EB to increase payloads and sensors."
It is hardly unusual to propose that customers buy additional products. Calling on EB (Padgett's employer) to increase payloads and sensors, however, begs questions. Why might a contractor have to be pushed to accept new business from a major customer (i.e. Navy)?
Either the Navy customer has not expressed an interest, or it has expressed interest at bargain basement pricing. We know the Navy has expressed an interest, however:
According to our new CNO, Admiral Greenert CNO's Sailing Directions (pdf):
Over the next 10 to 15 years, the Navy will evolve and remain the preeminent maritime force.
- The reach and effectiveness of ships and aircraft will be greatly expanded through new and updated weapons, unmanned systems, sensors, and increased power.
If the Navy's interest is limited to pricing that cannibalizes a fair return, however, EB's incentive might be too small to cover the huge costs attendant to new product design and development, government contracting expenses and warranty risks. In other words, while our government wastes taxpayer dollars thrown at foolhardy stuff like Solyndra, which obviously had only a fantasy business plan, it may be downright hostile toward our most reliable submarine contractor, one that has been able to reduce prices with its proven business plan.
Submarines are always silent and strange.