When the government notices that costs are out of control, you know that they’re REALLY out of control:
The Navy has issued a stop work order today to Lockheed Martin Corp. Maritime Systems & Sensors unit, Moorestown, N.J., for the construction of the third Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). This stop work order will take effect immediately and is for a period of 90 days.
The stop work order was issued because of significant cost increases currently being experienced with the construction of LCS-1 and LCS-3, under construction by Lockheed Martin.
“I determined that at this point in time it was critical to stop work on LCS-3 to assess the LCS program and ensure we understand the program’s cost and management processes before we move forward. It is essential that we complete LCS 1 and get it to sea so we can evaluate this new ship design” said Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter.
The Navy is working closely with the contractor to identify the root cause of the costs growth. The Navy is reviewing the overall acquisition strategy for the LCS program and is working closely with the contractors to keep this program on track.
LCS 1 USS Freedom was launched in September.
LCS 1 and LCS 3 are the monohull Littoral Combat Ships. LCS 2 and LCS 4 are trimarans built by General Dynamics. We keep hearing about how the costs for the LCS program are growing, but I’ve not been able to learn whether one program or the other was having greater trouble. I think maybe we might know the answer to that now.
The monohull Littoral Combat Ships will probably be better suited to the open sea while the tirmarans will probably have a number of advantages real close in. Though Littoral Combat Ships, of course, are designed for the littoral, I’ve wondered if maybe keeping both designs might not make sense.
Of course, if one design is a rip-off we don’t need it.