LCS The Ship That Broke The Navy

The experience of LCS, it broke the Navy,” said Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition.
The Navy’s ambitious Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program promised low cost, highly flexible, reliable, multi-mission ships. So far they have delivered none of these. Last Thursday, a panel of Navy and government oversight officials told the Senate Armed Services Committee about billions in cost overruns, delayed deliveries, repeated breakdowns, reduced mission capabilities and the questionable survivability of the new LCS.
LCS costs have risen from an estimated $220 million per ship to an average of $478 million. In a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued on Thursday which reviewed the $29 billion LCS program, the GAO says that Congress must decide “whether a ship that costs twice as much yet delivers less capability than planned warrants an additional investment.” The GAO also expressed concern about the Navy’s plans for 12 redesigned littoral combat ships, to be called frigates, which will put taxpayers on the hook for nearly $14 billion.
In addition to being late and more expensive, the LCS have been notoriously unreliable. Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test And Evaluation has said that the current fleet of eight ships “have a near-zero chance of completing a 30-day mission,” the Navy’s requirement, without a critical failure of one or more seaframe subsystems essential for wartime operations. The ships also do not meet the Navy’s standards for survivability.
Paul L. Francis, managing director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management for the GAO, said, “The bottom line on the LCS is we’re 26 ships into the contract and we still don’t know if the LCS can do its job. Over the last 10 years, we’ve made a number of trade-downs. We’ve accepted higher cost, construction delays, mission module delays, testing delays, reliability and quality problems, and lower capability. To accommodate the lesser performance of the ship, we’ve accepted a number of work-arounds: higher crew loads, more shore support, … reduced mission expectations for the ship. It will be 2020 before we know that the ship and all of its mission modules will work.”
“The miracle of LCS didn’t happen,” Francis told the Senate panel.

LCS the ship that broke the Navy

LCS the ship that broke the Navy

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