A Defense News editorial urges Keep the LCS (subscription only):
The relatively high cost for each lead ship of more than $400 million shouldn’t be a driving consideration. First-of-type ships are always over budget. The DDG 51, arguably the most powerful surface combatant ever built, debuted 17 months late and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. Costs dropped as volume rose, and LCS will be no different.
The key is to get both ships to the fleet. There, sailors can rigorously test them to determine the merits of speed in littoral operations; the practicality and efficacy of the mission module concept; the relative ride, handling and payload attributes of the two designs; and the potential perils of ultra-lean manning.
Sadly, the Navy’s 2006 decisions to cut one LCS from each builder will prolong the experimentation process, and handicap it as well. For one thing, it will be tougher to see how the ships perform in groups.
They note that talk has been circulating about using the US Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter (NSC) design instead of the LCS.