Navy Shipbuilding: Significant Investments in the Littoral Combat Ship Continue Amid Substantial Unknowns about Capabilities, Use, and Cost

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO found that the Navy has made progress in addressing some of the early design and construction problems on the LCS 1 and LCS 2 seaframes, and quality defects and unit costs are declining, now that the seaframes are in steady production. Based on projected learning curves, shipyard performance can be expected to continue to improve over time. This expected progress could, however, be disrupted, as the Navy is considering potentially significant seaframe design changes. For example, the Navy is currently studying changes to increase the commonality of ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. July 25, 2013.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO found that the Navy has made progress in addressing some of the early design and construction problems on the LCS 1 and LCS 2 seaframes, and quality defects and unit costs are declining, now that the seaframes are in steady production. Based on projected learning curves, shipyard performance can be expected to continue to improve over time. This expected progress could, however, be disrupted, as the Navy is considering potentially significant seaframe design changes. For example, the Navy is currently studying changes to increase the commonality of systems and equipment between the two ship variants, primarily with regard to the ships' combat management systems, and add new capabilities. In addition, the Navy still has outstanding gaps in its knowledge about how the unique designs of the two variants will perform in certain conditions. The lead ship of the Freedom class is currently on an extended deployment to Southeast Asia, and the Navy views this as an important opportunity to demonstrate some of the ship's capabilities and allow the crew to obtain first-hand experience with operations. Yet, developmental testing of the seaframes is ongoing, and neither variant has completed shock and survivability testing, which will demonstrate that the ship designs can safely absorb and control damage. Importantly, operational testing of the LCS with its mission modules is several years away, which I will discuss later. Late discoveries of problems while the seaframes continue to be constructed could lead to further design changes."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 25, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Navy Shipbuilding: Significant Investments in the Littoral Combat Ship Continue Amid Substantial Unknowns about Capabilities, Use, and Cost, text, July 25, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc296985/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.