By BRYAN RAHIJA
Looks like lawmakers are actually starting to care about cost overruns, schedule delays, and aggressive corrosion besetting the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). Defense News reported yesterday that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has put in the order for a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the Navy's management of the close-to-shore ship program:
In a July 27 letter to the GAO, Hunter, joined by Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., cited his concerns about the program's historic cost overruns and schedule delays, and more recent corrosion and structural issues with the ships.
Hunter and Wittman asked the GAO to "review and as necessary update the August 2010 [GAO] report on the LCS program." Specifically, the lawmakers want GAO to examine:
- what the Navy is doing to overcome technical design flaws in the first two ships;
- what the Navy is doing to make sure follow-on ships are delivered with cost and time estimates;
- what actions the Navy has taken to make certain that mission packages have the capabilities they were intended to have; and
- provide performance and operational maintenance date on the propulsion systems for both LCS variants.
Last week, POGO recommended that Congress cancel one version of the LCS as part of our blueprint for reducing the deficit. The Navy has awarded ten-ship contracts to two different LCS design teams—a strategy that, as POGO's Ben Freeman has pointed out, has some big drawbacks.
Bryan Rahija edits POGO's blog. Follow him on Twitter.