Friday, August 29, 2008

More on the Future of LCS...Depends on Congress

Depends on Congress and the New President

Interesting to see the steady flow now of reports on what exactly are the prospects of LCS. Also to see how well LCS-1 has done and how far behind is LCS-2. Interesting article follows at:

"Navy sees progress in LCS program"
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Washington Bureau

"WASHINGTON — The Navy will take delivery of its first littoral combat ship next month after the Wisconsin-built vessel passed inspection with relatively few serious flaws, officials said Wednesday.

Delivery of a second LCS — a rival design built by Austal USA in Mobile — is set for next year, the Navy said during a Wednesday roundtable discussion with reporters.

Completion of the first ship, known as the Freedom... After running the ship through trials on Lake Michigan, the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey found it to be "capable, well-built and inspection-ready," Deputy Assistant Navy Secretary Allison Stiller said...

The Navy now wants to buy three more LCS by late next year. While the first would be ordered with existing money, Congress has yet to authorize funding for the other two. Citing "source-selection" issues, Stiller would not say whether the Navy believes the two teams can meet a $460 million-per-vessel cost cap imposed by lawmakers.

Earlier this month, Fred Moosally, president of Lockheed's maritime division, told reporters that rising steel prices and other pressures would make it difficult to meet that cap...

Assuming that Congress antes up the money, the Navy plans to order two ships from one team and the third from the other group. Although the original plan was to choose one of the competing designs as the basis for the bulk of remaining orders, the Pentagon has left open the option of continuing to do "split buys" from both teams..."

My guess is Lockheed Martin gets the proven 3rd LCS order and whether GD/Austal gets any more LCS orders depends in part on Congress, the election, and structural integrity as it should be.

Aloha, Brad

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