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The Navy's new Riverine Command Boat (RCB-X)  (Source:
Navy hopes to cut its fossil fuel consumption in half by 2020

It seems these days that many people/organizations are trying to go green. We have companies like Dell installing solar panels in parking lotsnumerous auto manufacturers are selling/developing full-electric and gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles; and even homeowners look to reduce costs by using fluorescent lighting and eco-friendly building materials.

Not to be left out, the U.S. Navy is showing its "green" side with a new 49-foot Riverine Command Boat (RCB-X). The boat is powered by a 50/50 mix of NATO F-76 fuel and algae-based biofuel.

Although there is no talk about an increase (or penalty) in fuel efficiency by using the the fuel, it appears to be more of a policy decision with regards to stepping up the use of alternative fuels in the Navy's fleet.

"Going green is about combat capability and assuring Navy's mobility," said Rear Adm. Philip Cullom, director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division. "It is not just about natural security; it also strengthens national security. By having reliable and abundant alternate sources of energy, we will no longer be held hostage by any one source of energy, such as petroleum.”

As with all new and experimental technology, the price to use such fuel in this prototype vehicle is astronomical. And when we say astronomical, we mean it -- the Marine Corps Times reports that the Navy bought 20,055 gallons of algae-based biodiesel at a jaw-dropping cost of $424 per gallon.

According to Wired, the Navy uses 80,000 barrels of oil per day to fuel its ships and wishes to cut that number in half within a decade through the use of biofuels and nuclear power.

"First and foremost, energy conservation extends tactical range of our forces while also preserving precious resources," Cullom added. "Our goal, as a Navy, is to be an 'early adopter' of new technologies that enhance national security in an environmentally sustainable way."

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RE: Volume and production
By Dr of crap on 10/29/2010 12:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry your explaintion does not justify the cost.

It would be more BUDGETWISE to pay a annual salary for someone to seach for the closest match for the spec, than to charge $500 for 100 hammers.
You see where this is going?
"They'll pay what ever I want to charge!"

The seller charges a price and the Army /Navy / whoever pays.
Doesn't think - hey, that's a bit much - just pays it.
When it not coming out of your pocket you don't look at it to much.

Maybe if the reason for the high price were to come out as well, WE might not think them so stupid as to pay $500 for a hammer!
But then it might be top secret!

RE: Volume and production
By Chernobyl68 on 10/29/2010 1:16:12 PM , Rating: 3
there is no closest match when it comes to specialized tools like that. Either the tool does what you need it to, or it doesn't.
Now, not all tools the military buys will cost this much, most don't, but the ones that do, it has to be what they need it to be.

RE: Volume and production
By monomer on 10/29/2010 3:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, $500 sounds like alot for just a hammer, but you forget that it comes with a comprehensive 3-year service agreement, and a 24 hour telephone support line should you have any technical issues relating to your use of the hammer and any accesories that you purchased for it.

RE: Volume and production
By snakeInTheGrass on 10/29/2010 3:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
We've all heard the saying, "When all you have is a $500 dollar hammer, everything looks like a $100 nail."

Makes sense though - I hear about civilian hammer accidents and deaths all the time, so I can see the reasoning here. Like when contractors put hammers into their tool chests in their pickups, get in an accident, and *BAM*!, dozens of casualties all because they didn't have enough red tape and kickbacks to hold them in place in the vehicle.

RE: Volume and production
By Dr of crap on 10/29/2010 3:18:47 PM , Rating: 2
Other the above poster, which I think agrees with me, I'm I on the wrong web site?
It's this the one where everyone rants and ravs about the cost of PCs, and cell phones, and iPads, and such?
And you all are OK with $500 hammers???

I suspose you all LIKE the polictial ads, and have voted all your life as well, thinking that the one elected will CHANGE the world!?!

Good luck with that!

RE: Volume and production
By snakeInTheGrass on 10/29/2010 4:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm definitely expecting the next election to fix it since I hear the politicos are going to vote to curb their own cushy revolving-door job, campaign-funding, and insider-influence thing they have going.

No, most people aren't outraged, they're lined up buying the story they're being sold, apparently. Now if you had posted about the $500 iPad (which actually does have development costs, more parts costs, etc.), the boards would be up in arms! ;)

RE: Volume and production
By theapparition on 10/29/2010 7:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry your explaintion does not justify the cost.

Sorry that you lack the comprehension to understand.

"They'll pay what ever I want to charge!"

Spoken like a mediawashed fool with no insite into the situation. $500 hammer, OMG, Government and Pentagon is so stupid.

Hate to break it to you, but they are not that dumb. Inefficient and misdirected, maybe, but that's another discussion.

Every cost proposal has a price breakdown listing the cost for each charge, including the testing and certification costs. Certification can cost 10X what the actual part costs, and that goes back to the prime listing that certification as a requirement. But one thing is certain, the GAO reviews these purchases and also concluded in most of them, the costs were justified.

But Dr or crap knows more than thousands of qualified individuals on this topic. Next up, you're going to tell brain surgeons that they don't need fancy medical tools, any Black and Decker cutoff saw can cut through a cranium. Fools!!!

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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