Chief of Naval Operations Michael Mullen said Tuesday he is "embarrassed" by hefty cost overruns on the Littoral Combat Ship, but said he expects to get the program back on track as early as next month.Boss, all of us are. Early next month is next week.
There is "plenty of blame to go around" between the defense industry and Navy officials who failed to adequately oversee the program, Mullen told the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee during a hearing on the Navy and Marine Corps fiscal 2008 budget request.That is true, but that is not excuse for non-action on our part. We need more Sestak moments.
The Navy stopped work on the third LCS ship Jan. 12, after learning that the price tag on the first ship would total roughly $410 million -- well above the $220 million the Navy expects to pay for future ships. The price of the third ship was expected to be much less than the first LCS, but still fall well over $300 million.That is without a mission module BTW.
Here is the shocker: you may never hear this again: I agree 100% with Rep. Murtha (D-PA).
"All of us are embarrassed by the costs of this LCS," House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha, D-Pa., said. "We can't have this happen. As the taxpayers' representative, [I say] you have to get this under control."Credit where credit is due.
Murtha, a strong supporter of the defense industry, used the LCS cost increases as a launching pad to question the Navy on its inability to get many of its major shipbuilding costs under control.
Murtha and other shipbuilding enthusiasts would like the Navy to buy 12 ships in fiscal 2008 -- five more than are in the current budget request. But the Pennsylvania Democrat said he cannot do so until costs come down.
It would be "hard to recommend five more ships when we have this overrun," Murtha said.