Lawmakers said today they have “serious questions” about the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship after a Government Accountability Office report recommended slowing construction for further testing.
Well, that would seem like a good thing.
“The strategy has been ‘Buy before fly,’” said Paul Francis, the GAO’s managing director of acquisition and sourcing management, who testified at today’s hearing. “It is a ship in full-rate production, but its operational effectiveness will not be demonstrated for years to come. That’s where we are today.”
Most of the planned 52 ships will already be under contract or built by the time operational testing is completed in 2019, he said.
Why, yes. We're shelling out over $25 billion for four dozen ships that will totes work. Eventually.
Francis said the Navy should consider buying the ship only in “minimum quantities” until enough testing is completed to prove its effectiveness.
Sean Stackley, the Navy’s assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition, rejected the GAO’s advice, saying any pause in construction would increase costs and delay needed testing.
“Now is not the time to slow the program,” Stackley told the panel. “This is our most affordable warship program.”
It's underpowered, undermanned, and essentially useless... but hey, at least it's cheap!
You know what else is cheap, Mr. Stackley?
Not building additional ships until you know they meet requirements.
Unfortunately, that's not the way bureaucracy works.
As a friend noted recently, "You know how it is. People don't react well to 'Don't just do something; stand there!'"