New Reports Question Navy's Littoral Combat Ship Program - WBAY

New Reports Question Navy's Littoral Combat Ship Program

Updated:

New accounts of the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship program raise more questions about the multi-billion dollar government program.

Half of the Navy's contract is being built at Marinette Marine in Northeast Wisconsin, the other half at a shipyard in Alabama.

The Defense Department wants to end the program early, but supporters including Wisconsin's congressional delegation, push for continued funding.

A new analysis by the Government Accountability Office questions the USS Freedom's 10-month deployment to Singapore last year, the first LCS built at Marinette Marine.

Click here to read the full report.

The GAO report said mechanical problems halted sea operations earlier than expected, and that the Navy hasn't fully addressed the overall risks of the program, recommending no further funding of the LCS until these issues are addressed.

"Several factors limited the operational lessons learned," the report said. "For example, mechanical problems prevented the ship from spending as much time at sea as planned. Further, the Navy continues to lack operational data for key operational and warfighting concepts..."

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin partnered with Marinette Marine to build half of the Navy's ships.

In a statement to Action 2 News, a spokesperson said, "The Navy has said Freedom's maiden deployment to Southeast Asia was a success. We supported some aspects of operations during Freedom's deployment per the Navy's direction. We discovered lessons learned during the implementation of a brand new maintenance approach, and we're already working with the Navy to incorporate those into USS Fort Worth's upcoming deployment."

Meantime Bloomberg News is reporting the Pentagon's top weapons tester recently said in a letter to U.S. Senator John McCain the LCS is less able to survive an attack compared to other U.S. warships.

Funding continues a heated debate on Capitol Hill as part of the 2015 Defense Authorization Act.

The Senate is expected to vote later this summer on how many ships in the Navy's contract to fund next year.

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