Meddling with the LCS
Tim Colton of Maritime Business Strategies echoes our post from yesterday over the Navy’s flawed concept of shipbuilding. Once they design a new warship, they can’t seem to let it go! Talk about your dysfunctional parents:
There are two principal reasons that the LCS costs are still shrouded in confusion. First, the Navy is still making endless design changes – just ask Colonna’s, where LCS 1 has spent most of this year so far and where she will practically be living for the rest of the year: Admiral, you and the Navy’s acquisition executives need to stop all this messing around, freeze the designs and let the shipbuilders get on with building the ships. Second, the Navy (and the Congress) have unrealistic expectations regarding cost: if you want to come in under the cost cap, you need to eliminate some of the bells and whistles. Finally, if you could restructure these contracts so as to make the shipbuilders the prime contractors, so much the better.
Concerning the original cost estimates of USS Freedom, at about $220 million which Raymond Pritchett discussed recently, this is a deliberate Navy tactic to undersell a warship program to get it passed by Congress. Then when the real costs become public, they fain innocence and bewilderment at the change. Happens too often in history to be a coincidence!