Skip to comments.LCS Price Gives Navy Pause
Posted on 05/12/2010 7:08:29 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
At last weeks Navy League expo, Lockheed Martins Paul Lemmo told DoD Buzz he thinks the decision on which of the two Littoral Combat Ship offerings will win the Navys down select this summer, his companys steel mono-hull or General Dynamics all aluminum trimaran, is an easy one.
Lockheed Martins steel mono-hull LCS can be built in most any shipyard and, more importantly, it can put in for repairs at many more dry-docks than can GDs trimaran. How many more? There are roughly 10 dry-docks in the Norfolk area, Lemmo said, only two of which could fit the trimaran. Lockheeds mono-hull fits in all of them. That ease of maintenance will result in lower LCS lifecycle costs, Lemmo says.
The issue of LCS lifecycle costs is a hot one. GD contends that the Navys down select criteria doesnt sufficiently emphasize lifecycle costs. GD says its trimaran will burn much less fuel than Lockheeds LCS-1 mono-hull over the life of the ships.
At the request of Sen. Jeff Sessions R-Ala, who supports the GD design, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) examined LCS-1 lifecycle costs and how projected fuel usage will impact those costs. CBO found that LCS-1 fuel costs would be largely insignificant. Fuel costs would account for somewhere between 8 and 18 percent of total costs; whereas the ships price tag accounts for up to 66 percent of total costs.
Lockheeds Lemmo said theyve been able to bring down LCS-3 production costs about 30 percent compared to LCS-1. LCS-3 is over 40 percent complete and on track for a 2012 delivery. He said much of the work on LCS-1 was done at pier side, versus while it was still on land, a far costlier way to build a ship. Most of the pre-outfitting on LCS-3 will be done on land.
(Excerpt) Read more at dodbuzz.com ...
From what I hear the Lockheed ship needs access to as many drydock facilities as possible - it’s already going down for major repairs.
I know a guy who has workrd on both projects (Lockheed and GD/Austal) - he says the GD/Austal ship is by far the most capable.
Given today's weapons and air assets I don't see a need to get closer to shore and Burkes are far more capable.
I do like Arleigh Burkes.
And I actually call on Austal in Mobile and have supplied equipment on both vessels and most people like the Lockheed design as easier to build and maintain. The blame for cost overruns on both designs falls on the Navy for demanding it do more than originally designed for.