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In 1997 GAO found that the NSSN program was not likely to meet the objective of producing a submarine that is significantly less costly than the Seawolf. Based on Navy estimates for a 30-ship, single shipbuilder program, the Seawolf's average acquisition cost was estimated to be about $1.85 billion compared to the NSSN's estimate of about $1.5 billion, and based on a 30-ship, two shipbuilder program, the Navy's current estimated acquisition cost for the fifth ship of the NSSN class had risen from about $1.5 billion to about $1.8 billion as of March 1996.
At a procurement rate of 1 boat per year, Virginia-class SSNs cost about $1.9 billion to $2.0 billion per boat to procure. This cost might decline to about $1.8 billion per boat at a procurement rate of 2 boats per year or $1.6-$1.7 billion per boat at a procurement rate of 3 or 4 boats per year.