Wednesday, June 03, 2009

LCS bites man

...or "Dog Bites Man" or "Water is Wet," take your choice.
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. The ship is still under construction at Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., under subcontract from General Dynamics. Initial sea trials are expected to take place this summer, with delivery scheduled for later this year.
...and yes Virginia, that does not include even one Mission Module.

BTW, who has been held accountable for this dog's breakfast?
Started at $220 Million

The price tag for each LCS has been a key element of the program since 2004, when the Navy said each of the ships was to cost $220 million —
The Navy revealed in early 2007 that cost had ballooned on each of the competing ship designs. Prior to accounting for those cost growths, the service at that time reckoned the cost for LCS 1 at $293 million and for LCS 2 at $297 million — figures that more than doubled a year later.
Of course, Salamander readers have known this from the start.

One other note given the near to mid-term budget realities; The Nile must be a tributary of the Potomac.
“The Navy is not planning on downselecting,” Sean Stackley, the Navy’s top weapon buyer, told reporters May 15. “We’ve got a competition going on right now for three ships in 2010. We’re using all the tools we have in our tool kit to figure out how far we can bring these costs down.”

But Stackley refused to say what the Navy’s cost goals are on LCS, other than to cite a congressionally mandated cost cap of $460 million per ship.
Lots of chickens starting to roost on the Navy henhouse. Lots.

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