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

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Congressional rept.

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The Littoral Combat Ship LCS is a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular plug-and-fight mission packages. The Navy wants to field a force of 55 LCSs. The first two LCS-1 and LCS-2 were procured in FY2005 and FY2006 and were commissioned into service on Nov 8, 2008, and Jan 16, 2010. Another two LCS-3 and LCS-4 were procured in FY2009 and are under construction. Two more LCS-5 and LCS-6 were procured in FY2010. The Navys FY2011-FY2015 shipbuilding plan calls for procuring 17 more LCSs in annual quantities of 2, 3, 4, 4, and 4. The Navys proposed FY2011 budget requests 1,231.0 million in procurement funding for the two LCSs that the Navy wants to procure in FY2011, and 278.4 million in FY2011 advance procurement funding for the 11 LCSs that the Navy wants to procure in FY2012-FY2014. There are currently two very different LCS designs -- one developed and produced by an industry team led by Lockheed, and another developed and produced by an industry team led by General Dynamics. LCS-1 and LCS-3 use the Lockheed design LCS-2 and LCS-4 use the General Dynamics design. On Sep 16, 2009, the Navy announced a proposed new LCS acquisition strategy. Under the strategy, the Navy would hold a competition to pick a single design to which all LCSs procured in FY2010 and subsequent years would be built. The winner of the down select would be awarded a contract to build 10 LCSs over the 5-year period FY2010-FY2014, at a rate of 2 ships per year. The Navy would then hold a second competition -- open to all bidders other than the shipyard building the 10 LCSs in FY2010-FY2014 -- to select a second shipyard to build up to 5 additional LCSs to the same design in FY2012-FY2014. These two shipyards would then compete for contracts to build LCSs procured in FY2015 and subsequent years. The FY2010 defense authorization act grants the Navy contracting and other authority needed to implement this new LCS acquisition strategy.

Subject Categories:

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

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