The lead vessel in the Littoral Combat Ship program has reached the point in its development when self-appointed watchdogs begin to question its price and performance. The Project on Government Oversight has branded it a “busted, leaky boat” and called for cancellation of the whole class. Investigative reporter Mike Fabey of Aviation Week reports extensive leaks and corrosion. However, the problems cited are common in the lead ship of a new class, and the Littoral Combat Ship is far more revolutionary than other warships developed in recent times. The Navy’s vigorous defense of the new vessel and the supportive actions of senior legislators suggest this is one Pentagon program not headed for major political setbacks. The positive outlook is due in no small part to the fact that the Littoral Combat Ship is uniquely suited to the emerging threats and budgetary constraints the joint force currently faces. I have written a commentary for Forbes that you can read here.
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