Navy looking to retire first of four LCS ships despite only being six years old
The US Navy is looking to retire the first of four littoral combat ships, despite being just over half a decade old.
Despite a push to reach 335 ships by 2030, the Navy is seemingly more than happy to ditch its LCS fleet, even though many of the ships have at least one to two decades of life left in them.
The ships are non-deployable and have been since they were initiated in the early 2000s. Since their inception, they have been plagued with developmental woes and quality control issues.
The Navy is currently looking to retire two LCSs from the Freedom class, as well as two from the Independence. Of these ships, the youngest is the USS Coronado, which is less than six years of age.
While a revolutionary concept surrounding the ability for a “modular” ship to fulfill many missions, the LCS program proved too much to juggle, particularly with expanding roles and design specs that kept changing.
According to Popular Mechanics, the ships, which have hardly more firepower than Coast Guard cutters, problem-plagued engines, and almost no armor, created such a cost overrun that the Pentagon tried to hide the costs from the US public.
After a while, it just wasn’t worth it- the Navy determined they’d rather be rid of the LCS than try and “fix” it any further.
With the Navy eyeing a new frigate class with the FFG(X) program (which, by the way, the French are serious contenders for winning the contract), the LCS is likely done for, and will soon fade into obscurity if all goes according to plan.
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