Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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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 November 8, 2008, and January 16, 2010. Another two LCS-3 and LCS-4 were procured in FY2009 and are under construction. Two more were procured in FY2010, and the Navys proposed FY2011 budget requested funding to procure another two. Navy plans call for procuring an additional 16 in FY2012-FY2015 at a rate of four ships per year. There are 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. The Lockheed design is built at the Marinette Marine shipyard at Marinette, WI the General Dynamics design is built at the Austal USA shipyard at Mobile, AL. On September 16, 2009, the Navy announced a proposed acquisition strategy under which the Navy would hold a competition to pick a single design to which all LCSs procured in FY2010 and subsequent years would be built i.e., carry out a design down select. Section 121a and b of the FY2010 defense authorization act H.R. 2647P.L. 111-84 of October 28, 2009 provided the Navy authority to implement this down select strategy. The Navys down select decision was expected to be announced by December 14, 2010, the date when the two LCS bidders bid prices would expire.
- Marine Engineering