Pentagon’s top tester: Littoral ships ‘have a near-zero chance of completing a 30-day mission’

The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program is behind schedule, hundreds of millions over budget, and incapable of conducting most of the basic missions it was intended to carry out. Senators on Thursday said they wanted to know why.

“Like so many major programs that preceded it, LCS’s failure followed predictably from an inability to define and stabilize requirements, unrealistic initial cost estimates, and unreliable assessments of technical and integration risk, made worse by repeatedly buying ships and mission packages before proving they are effective and can be operated together,” said Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., told Pentagon witnesses during a hearing.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was more blunt. “The process is completely broken. If you want this to stop, somebody needs to get fired.” Continue reading

U.S. Navy announces Littoral Combat Ship program overhaul

The U.S. Navy last week announced an overhaul of its troubled Littoral Combat Ship program that will include turning the first four ships into test vessels.

Thursday’s announcement came days after the sea service announced an engineering stand-down for LCS crews following an Aug. 29 engineering casualty on the USS Coronado.

That followed a main propulsion diesel engine casualty on the first LCS, Freedom, on July 11. Continue reading