"Cost estimates rise for first LCS ships"
by Christopher P. Cavas - Navy Times Staff writer
Monday June 1, 2009
The price to build, outfit and deliver the Freedom (LCS 1) now is $637 million, up from last year’s estimate of $631 million. The ship was delivered to the Navy last September and commissioned in November, but the service and shipbuilder Lockheed Martin will continue to complete the warship well into 2009, as intended.
The price tag for the Independence (LCS 2), however, is pegged by the Navy at $704 million, up from last year’s mark of $636 million. The ship is still under construction at Austal USA in Mobile, Ala....
The Navy did not respond by press time to queries as to why the cost for LCS 2 jumped more than 9 percent over the past year.
Started at $220 Million
The price tag for each LCS has been a key element of the program since 2004, when the Navy said each of the ships was to cost $220 million — a relatively low figure in a Navy whose destroyers cost well over $1 billion. The low cost is a cornerstone of the Navy’s plan to buy a total of 55 LCS ships, or about one-sixth of the planned 313-ship Navy. The program envisioned a competition to build two very different types of LCS — a steel and aluminum monohull design from Lockheed Martin, and an all-aluminum tri-hull ship from General Dynamics — and at an unspecified point selecting one design...