Monday, April 02, 2007

LCS-2 war warning

It is starting to sound like the General Dynamics / Austal version has the same disease as their competitor.
The first littoral combat ship under construction at Austal USA's Mobile shipyard is facing a cost overrun of between 50 percent and 75 percent, a Navy spokesman said this week.

In a Monday interview, Lt. Cmdr. John Schofield did not have a dollar figure for the anticipated overrun. But if the original construction contract cost of $223 million is used as a starting point, the ship's expected price tag has jumped by about $110 million or more.

Schofield, who said he was summarizing recent remarks by Navy Secretary Donald Winter, did not return an e-mail and several phone messages Tuesday seeking more information about the overrun.

He also did not respond to an e-mail seeking confirmation of a report Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal's online edition that the cost of the Austal ship is now pegged at $325 million, or slightly less than a 50 percent increase. The Journal did not say where it got that figure.

...on Capitol Hill, worries are mounting over the bills for what was supposed to be a relatively cheap program.

The reported cost overruns on the Austal ship are "disturbing, but much more information is needed," U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland said in a statement Tuesday. Bartlett is the top Republican on the House Armed Services Seapower subcommittee.

While the panel's chairman, U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., could not be reached for comment, Bartlett said the two of them "are working together to get more information before jumping to conclusions about how Congress should respond."
Hat tip RP.

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