May 27, 2019

SEA STORY: It’s Official: The U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship Is a Complete Failure.

When the Navy in the 1990s first began shaping the LCS program, the idea was for the ships to be small, fast, inexpensive and lightly-manned “trucks” into which the sailing branch could plug a wide array of “modules” carrying equipment for specific missions including surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and minesweeping.

In a bid to speed up the production of as many as 55 LCSs, the Navy selected two shipyards — Lockheed Martin’s facility in Wisconsin and an Austal yard in Alabama — each to build their own variant of the class. Complications and cost compounded.

“The Littoral Combat Ship program has been unnecessarily complicated from the beginning,” the Project on Government Oversight explained in 2016. “Initially the Navy aimed for each ship to cost $220 million, but the Government Accountability Office estimates procurement costs for the first 32 ships is currently about $21 billion, or about $655 million per ship—nearly triple what they were supposed to cost.”

It took the Navy nearly two decades to realize the LCS program had failed.

What a waste.

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