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LCS #2 at over $700 million

June 1, 2009

For Pete’s sake! Navy Times reports:

The estimated cost of the first of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships rose a modest $6 million over the past year, but the price tag to complete the second LCS jumped $68 million, putting the ship over the $700 million mark, Pentagon budget documents show.
The price to build, outfit and deliver the Freedom (LCS 1) now is $637 million, up from last year’s estimate of $631 million. The ship was delivered to the Navy last September and commissioned in November, but the service and shipbuilder Lockheed Martin will continue to complete the warship well into 2009, as intended.
The price tag for the Independence (LCS 2), however, is pegged by the Navy at $704 million, up from last year’s mark of $636 million.

I imagine to the Navy $6 million is “modest” but could get you a Stiletto without the frills. Remember some of us in comments were predicting the LCS would go up to $1 billion or more by the next decade? Pretty steep for a low-end frigate if you ask me.

Time for a second-look at the corvette Admiral Roughead.

Thanks to Raymond Pritchett.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Distiller permalink
    June 2, 2009 4:33 am

    Actually the aluminum angle was what limited the production base from those maybe eight U.S. shipyards potentially capable of doing LCS down even further. There is no competition as long as hull manufacturing isn’t opened to overseas yards. And not to forget that this price explosion takes place despite the propulsion complex coming from outside the U.S.

  2. leesea permalink
    June 2, 2009 3:25 am

    Mike surely you jest? Comparing LCS and plastic boat costs in not appropos. Now if you compared LCS to other navies modern corvettes you would have continued a good discussion. You have posted some of the competition.

    Stiletto is a toy boat, you just won’t admit it?

    CNO has already mandated that the LCS is the program of record and no one shall tell the king he has no clothes!

  3. DesScorp permalink
    June 1, 2009 9:57 pm

    Something has gone horribly wrong with defense procurement. I don’t know the answer, but we’d better find it fast. No matter how big or small a ship is, there’s no excuse for this kind of out-of-control pricing.

    I saw an article on why the Navy should get back into the shipbuilding business. When they built their own ships in their own shipyards, it actually brought prices for that class down. I’ll see if I can find that piece, and you can decide for yourself the hows and whys. But in the meantime… man, there’s no excuse for this stuff. An El-Cheapo, aluminum ship with almost non-existent weapons systems are now a quarter of a billion dollars.


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