By Erik Slavin
Copyright 2014 Stars & Stripes
How do you criticize a multibillion-dollar ship program without ever mentioning its name? You do it the way the Defense Department’s No. 2 civilian did in San Diego yesterday.
The first two littoral combat ships have been repeatedly criticized for going way over budget and for their maintenance woes. The LCS is fast and it can maneuver in shallow waters, but it is rated to what the Navy terms “Level 1+ survivability” – meaning it is meant to withdraw if it takes a hit in combat. That level is lower than the frigate it replaces.
On Tuesday, acting deputy Defense Secretary Christine Fox called for fewer “niche platforms” (looking at you, LCS) and more survivable, lethal ships.
“We need more ships with the protection and firepower to survive against a more advanced military adversary,” Fox said at the U.S. Naval Institute’s West 2014 conference, per USNI News blog.