Cost increases for the Littoral Combat Ship Program

Recent concerns over escalating costs with the LCS project were addressed by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Donald C. Winter. Recent press reports (See: Geoff Fein, "First Four LCS Could Be Facing 72 Percent Cost Increase," Defense Daily, 17 March 2007) indicate the USN will seek $519M US in supplemental funding, which will bring the total program cost to $992M and unit average cost to $378M. Secretary Winter's announcement that stopped work on the third ship will be recommenced and that the capability to be supplied by the LCS is still regarded as a critical deficiency seem to indicate that the programme will be progressed at least to the operational evaluation stage. His comments regarding "improved programme oversight" and "strict cost control" might reduce expectations for capabilities incorporated into the first four experimental ships.