ARLINGTON: In the race to replace the Navy’s controversial Littoral Combat Ship, the leading contender seems to be…. a better Littoral Combat Ship. That’s the clear implication of what we’ve been hearing from Navy leadership, and it’s clear from press briefings today that LCS contractor Lockheed Martin feels pretty confident it can do the job.… Keep reading →
PENTAGON: John D. Burrow is in a hurry – and if you think you know what the Navy needs as an alternative to its controversial Littoral Combat Ship, you will be too. Minutes ago, the Navy released a pair of Requests For Information (RFIs) on LCS alternatives – one RFI for concepts for the ship as… Keep reading →
As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has told the Navy in no uncertain terms that he wants a second opinion on the controversial Littoral Combat Ship. Perhaps that’s why the newly formed “Small Surface Combatant Task Force” won’t be led by a sailor or even a Navy civilian. Instead, the “SSCTF” chairman will be Marine Corps Systems… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The LCS is dead, long live the LCS? The Navy’s controversial Littoral Combat Ship program is in good shape despite a 38 percent cut in the number of vessels the Pentagon plans to buy, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus insisted this morning at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. And he may be right.… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: Just when the Navy’s surface fleet had started pulling itself out of a 10-year, $2 billion hole, budget dysfunction may kick it right back in. We’ve written a great deal about the damage done to all four armed services by the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. But what is happening to the… Keep reading →
PENTAGON: There are a lot of questions about the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ships, high-tech vessels that are smaller, faster, more flexible, and more vulnerable to damage than traditional frigates or destroyers.
In an exclusive interview with Breaking Defense, the Navy’s top surface-warships expert frankly acknowledged that they’re still working on the answers. Everything from concepts of operation to damage control to the ships’ top speed is still potentially open to revision, Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden said Friday in his Pentagon office. That attitude is refreshing, exciting, and a bit unnerving when you consider that the Navy wants to buy 55 Littoral Combat Ships, requesting $1.8 billion for four in fiscal 2013 alone.Keep reading →