It costs $200 million.
No wait, now it’s $400 million. Hold on, what we meant was $440 million per ship.
The Littoral Combat Ship is more than just an eyesore — it’s a noncapable, cyber-vulnerable, thin-skinned floating pile of misshapen steel that’s more than doubled in costs over the course of its development.
The Navy wants 52 more at a total cost of $37 billion.
Worse off, it seems that while things like contractors (even ones who cut grass) and veteran’s college benefits are on the table for cuts, expensive programs like the LCS seem completely untouchable.
Although designed for operations in shallow waters close to shore, known as the littoral zone, the ship lacks the firepower needed to get close to shore, according to a classified memo from a Navy admiral.
The program has been plagued by issues, including cracks, corrosion, faulty anti-mine systems and lift platforms, and bad propulsion systems.
There are two versions and neither works. A steel-hulled vessel is being made in Wisconsin by Lockheed Martin, and an aluminium trimaran is being built in Mobile, Alabama, by a group led by Austal Ltd. Lockheed's version had a cracked hull, and the Austal ship developed corrosion.
The ship was designed to replace frigates, but now some Navy officers are already planning the LCS's replacement.
One admiral's memo states that the LCS cannot operate independently, and would have to be protected by better armed and better armoured ships.
Its helicopters aren't strong enough to lug anti-mine equipment, one of the main missions of the LCS.
Building and buying the 52 ship contract will cost $37 billion. Conversely, the entire Marine Corps costs $28 billion a year to run.
Despite her mission for close-to-shore operations, planners fear she's too wide to fit in many international ports.
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