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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:03 PM

From Paint To Littoral Combat Ships, Navy Scrambles To Save Dough


The $640 million dollar USS Freedom that is not-ready-for-prime-time.

From Paint To Littoral Combat Ships, Navy Scrambles To Save Dough
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Published: January 22, 2013

CRYSTAL CITY: From standardizing paint schemes to buying fewer types of valves, the Navy is going all-out to save money as budgets tighten. This new emphasis on affordability goes beyond the usual mundane economies to a sea change in how the service develops new vessels and technologies, with the much-criticized Littoral Combat Ship as the high-stakes pilot project.

"You can't just do some really effective system anymore; it's got to be effective and highly affordable," declared Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, who heads the Office of Naval Research. ONR is normally associated not with cost-cutting but with high-tech, high-cost innovations such as railguns. But at last week's Surface Navy Association conference in Crystal City, just south of the Pentagon, Klunder framed even the case for railguns in economic terms, arguing they would let the Navy shoot down incoming threats much more cheaply than firing interceptor missiles.

If defense companies or entrepreneurs have ideas that can buy more capability for less money, that cost our enemies more to counter than they cost us to develop, "I've got a whole pocket full of business cards. I'm willing to take time for that discussion," Klunder told the conferees, many of them defense executives. If your idea buys more capability for more money, he went on, you'll have to wait.


The module part of the program is hardly trouble-free. "We are behind schedule on the delivery of what we originally thought the mission modules would be," acknowledged Adm. Copeman at the conference. LCS-1 Freedom will sail to Singapore this year with a stripped-down version of its surface warfare module that includes extra guns, an armed helicopter, and fast boats to carry boarding crews, but not the anti-ship missile originally planned. Mine warfare and anti-submarine modules lag further behind.

unhappycamper comment: To sum it up, our LCS target barges are:

a) waaaay more expensive than the $200 million originally estimated in the Navy's Deepwater program and
b) need more hands on deck but they don't have a place to put them and
c) are loaded with aluminum hull cracks and corrosion and
d) without mission models and
e) may not be survivable in a combat situation.

Congress, in its infinite wisdom, when the first two ships of this class came in at over 300% over budget did the only thing they could. Order more of them.

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Reply From Paint To Littoral Combat Ships, Navy Scrambles To Save Dough (Original post)
unhappycamper Jan 2013 OP
tinymontgomery Jan 2013 #1

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:10 PM

1. Thanks for all the updates

on military and veteran issues unhappycamper. As a retired former sailor the Navy updates are very informative.

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