Littoral: Is $23-Billion Navy Ship a Failure?

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July 9 (Bloomberg) -- The Navy’s $23 billion Littoral Combat Ship is less able to survive an attack than other U.S. warships, according to the Pentagon’s top weapons tester. Bloomberg's Yang Yang and Robert Levinson report on "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)


The dod's weapons tester says the new ship is more likely to survive an attack and other warships.

Yang yang is in washington and has more.

Critics, what do they call the ship?

I'm going to let you call -- tell people.

They are called "the little crappy chip." these latest findings don't help the nickname whatsoever.

One more blow to an already controversial and expensive ship, this time after anthony carpaccio got his hands on a letter from michael gilmore, the defense department's director of operational testing and evaluation, written to senator john mccain where gilmore asked rest that the combat ship standards "continue to accept risks that the crew would need to abandon ship under circumstances that would not necessitate that action on other vessels." gilmore wrote the letter to senator mccain to rebut the navy's contention that he is mistaking requirements, but gilmore is standing by what he said and that the standards are significantly different from those for other ships that may face enemy forces.

The littoral combat ship, intended to operate in coastal waters, is being built by lockheed martin.

It has come under a lot of scrutiny for price and performance.

It has garnered the nickname from its critics.

This news comes after defense secretary chuck hagel said in february that he was limiting purchases to 32 instead of the 52 originally planned.

He wants the navy to develop alternatives for a more survivable ship.

Those recommendations are expected by the end of this month.

Hang on for just a moment.

I want to bring into the conversation robert levinson.

Good to have you here.

I want to start off by saying, how was your morning, your breakfast?

This morning, i had breakfast with the chief of naval operations.

The combat ship came up little bit in the conversation.

Let's just step back for a second.

What up with this project?

Has it always been this contentious?

I think it has been pretty contentious.

It was kind of a need of the navy that it needed to play in these smaller wars.

It needed a smaller ship that could get closer to shore.

On of the things that has been controversial, they sort of constantly lowered the bar on the ship.

If you read the report, originally, it was meant to be very survivable, but then they said, we are going to back it up a little bit.

Maybe it won't go into these high threat environments.

A time you see that with a weapon system, where you start lowering the requirements, that is usually a pretty bad sign.

Is this a pattern at the department of defense, that you have programs that may have been started many years before, specifically before the advent of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, and now a lot of these weapons systems have to be rethought?

You always have this.

Our timeline for producing these big weapons systems is usually a couple of decades.

You are kind of making a projection about the future, and you're hoping that the system will meet the need.

Threats evolve, and sometimes something designed for one threat is not ready by the time it comes off the production line -- the threat has changed, and you have to rethink the whole concept.

I was thinking about the joint strike fighter.

It has basically been grounded.

They had a fire in an engine.

They are trying to figure out what that is.

As a program that has been on the drawing board for a long time.

It is going to be brought out into 2017. any time you invest that much money for that many years, there are going to be a lot of questions.

What are the chances that this ship shows up in the quantities that rp -- that are being talked about?

They have already cut it by 20 ships.

It went from 52 to 32. it could come down from that.

I wouldn't be surprised.

It is not going to get a lot of support in congress.

When budgets are tight, they are

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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