The construction of Lockheed Martin’s first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was nobody’s idea of a smooth sail. Although the vessel performed well in sea trials, there were production setbacks, cost overruns and other problems — caused in part because construction began before the Navy had finalized its design goals and standards for the vessel. But company exec’s are feeling a lot better about the second LCS they are building at Wisconsin’s Marinette shipyard. The ship is on budget and on schedule, headed for a 20% reduction in the number of months needed for completion. The first LCS took Lockheed 44 months to build, but if early funding is provided for long-lead items, construction time on the fifth LCS could be cut nearly in half — to 24 months.
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