Saturday, April 14, 2007

High Costs Lead Navy to Cancel 2nd Lockheed Coastal Vessel

The nation's first Littoral Combat Ship, Freedom (LCS 1) makes a side launch during her christening at the Marinette Marine shipyard. The LCS is the first of the U.S. Navy's next-generation small surface combatant for operations close to shore. It combines the capabilities of a small assault transport with a flight deck and hangar for two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, the ability to recover and launch small boats from a stern ramp, and enough cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with armored vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility.

The Navy cancelled the second of two ships to be built by Lockheed Martin yesterday, ending intense negotiations over the vessels' growing price tags and continuing efforts to keep the cost of weapons programs under control.

The decision comes three months after the Navy ordered the Bethesda defense contractor to stop work on the second coastal combat ship after finding that the first would cost $350 million to $375 million, more than 50 percent over its original price. Last month the Navy said Lockheed could save the ship from cancellation by agreeing to take on more of the financial risk, including picking up the tab for future cost overruns.

Read the rest at the Washington Post

Related Link:
Navy Official warns on cost overruns: 'We can't let costs continue to grow, or quite frankly, we won't have a Navy'

Related Link:
Lawmakers push for more ships than Navy can take