Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Probably Not A Good Thing

Defense Daily (subscription only) updates the construction of USS Independence (LCS-2).

During a recent inspection of General Dynamics' [GD] Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), bowing was discovered in the transverse beams that support the ship's flight deck, according to the Navy.

The Navy late yesterday released the following statement: "Recently, Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding (SUPSHIP) personnel observed various degrees of bowing in the transverse beams that support the flight deck on LCS-2. A Navy/Industry team is reviewing the cause of these deflections, verifying that the ship structure is stable, and developing any corrective actions that might be required. The cost and schedule impact will be determined upon completion of the Navy/industry review."

The USS Independence (LCS-2) is expected to hit the water in April, but problems like this could push the date back.

Defense Daily has another article about the LCS titled "LCS May Need To Take On Feel of Aircraft Acquisition Effort, SECNAV Says".

Winter acknowledged that getting to 55 LCS is a challenge. Because of the large quantity buy of LCS, Winter has been discussing how the Navy needs to look at LCS procurement more like how it buys aircraft and less like it buys ships.

"We need to be able to buy them in such a way we support the business case for the type of facilities that will enable those ships to be built in a cost effective manner," he said.

Additionally, orders need to be done in such a way that the Navy can take advantage of economic order of quantity for all the subsystems on the ship, he added.

Is this a recommendation for split funding? Bulk buys? Does anyone else think it might be wise for the Navy to actually receive the first two ships, then test them before floating ideas for a bulk buys or split funding? There is cart before the horse, and there is pushing a train with a tricycle. Both analogies apply. Both stories can be found in today's CHINFO News Clips.

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