A steel-hulled vessel is being made in Marinette, Wisconsin, by a team led by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) (LMT), and an aluminum trimaran is being built in Mobile, Alabama, by a group led by Austal Ltd. (ASB) Lockheed’s first ship developed a crack in the hull, and Austal’s vessel had corrosion problems.It sure looks like these are ships without a mission designed to keep the defense contracts coming. They are sea turkeys.
Nothing has haunted the LCS more than the perception that both variants are too lightly armed and may not survive an enemy attack. The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester has cited flaws with the ship’s guns and concluded that its helicopter isn’t powerful enough to tow mine-hunting equipment.All the money needed to cut the federal budget to target levels in the ongoing budget negotiations could be found by eliminating troubled defense contracts. The littoral combat ships are troubled defense program example number 1.
The ship “is not expected to be survivable in that it is not expected to maintain mission capability after taking a significant hit in a hostile combat environment,” Michael Gilmore, the weapons tester, said in a January report.