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Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress

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Congressional rept.

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The Navy is procuring a new type of surface combatant called the Littoral Combat Ship LCS. The LCS is a small, fast, relatively inexpensive combat ship that is to be equipped with modular plug-and-fight mission packages, including unmanned vehicles UVs. The basic version of the LCS, without any mission packages, is referred to as the LCS sea frame. The Navy wants to procure a total of 55 LCSs. The Navys planned force of 55 LCSs accounts for about 18 of its planned fleet of 313 ships of all types. The first ship in the program LCS-1 was delivered to the Navy on September 18, 2008, and is scheduled to be commissioned into service on November 8, 2008. The Navy substantially restructured the LCS program in 2007 in response to significant cost growth and schedule delays in the program. Congress originally funded a total of six LCS sea frames LCSs 1-6 in the FY2005, FY2006, and FY2007 defense budgets. In 2007, as Congress was considering the proposed FY2008 defense budget, the Navy canceled LCSs 3 though 6 as part of its restructuring of the program, leaving only LCSs 1 and 2 under construction. Congress accepted these cancellations and funded an additional LCS in FY2008. The Navys proposed FY2009 budget requested 920 million for the procurement of two more LCSs, which were to be the fourth and fifth ships in the restructured LCS program. Section 122 of the compromise version of the FY2009 defense authorization bill S. 3001 delays the implementation of the LCS sea frame unit procurement cost to ships procured in FY2010 and subsequent years. The compromise version of the FY2009 defense appropriations bill Division C of H.R. 2638 provides 1,020 million 100 million more than requested for the procurement of two LCSs. Section 8042 of the bill effectively cancels the LCS procured in FY2008.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Marine Engineering
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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