Breaking:LCS Contract Lags
Expected before the end of summer was the long-anticipated award of who would build a projected 55 littoral combat ships (LCS) for the USN. The frigate which wants to be a shallow water speed boat is the Navy’s only attempt to join the ongoing fight for the coastal waters in an age lacking a peer Blue Water threat. No surprise the oft-delayed program, now pricing 3 times its original estimate is facing further hurdles. Story is from Reuters:
The U.S. Navy is expected to miss its target this summer for awarding a multibillion contract for new warships after reopening discussions with the two bidders, Austal USA, a unit of Australia’s Austal Ltd (ASB.AX) and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), sources following the issue say.
A contract award for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program is not likely now until this fall, several months later than expected, according to the sources who were not authorized to speak on the record…
…the Navy has now reopened the process and posed further questions about cost and technical matters, delaying a possible contract for some time, the sources said.
The article also gave another reason for the delayed decision-a Navy attempt to avoid a lawsuit and further delays by the losing bidder:
The Navy’s decision to ask more questions so late in the procurement process was “highly unusual” and was probably aimed at ensuring it would prevail if the losing bidder filed a contract protest, as is widely expected, said Jay Korman, an analyst with the Washington-based research group Avascent.
Perhaps a bit premature to say this is a done deal? The Burleson Plan is still on!
- Navy Weighs Ship Design, Its Future (online.wsj.com)
- Navy poised to pick new Littoral Combat Ship (washingtonpost.com)