The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship has attracted considerable controversy since its inception in 2001, which seems to be the fate of any military program that tries to be innovative these days. But a review of key trends in the geopolitical and fiscal environments suggests LCS makes as much sense today as it did at the dawn of the new millennium. First, emerging maritime threats are mostly near coastlines, which is where LCS was conceived to operate. Second, other (bigger) warships are ill-suited to littoral operations. Third, LCS delivers the right capabilities for coastal warfare, in an innovative configuration. Fourth, LCS costs much less than other classes of warships to build and operate. Finally, in naval warfare flexibility is essential to future relevance — and that’s what LCS delivers. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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