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GAO Calls for Revision of US Navy Frigate Acquisition Strategy

Littoral Combat ShipThe Government Accountability Office has called on Congress to require the U.S. Navy to change the way the service buys frigates and hold funds for Littoral Combat Ship acquisitions in fiscal year 2017.

GAO said Thursday that it also wants the Defense Department to demand reviews prior to acquisition decisions and step up oversight through a mandatory development of documents and reports for the frigate program.

After a study on alternatives meant to address the LCS program’s lethality and survivability shortfalls, the Navy reported compromises in the modifications made to both LCS variants in keeping with the service’s requirements.

GAO also concluded that the Navy’s 2014 plan to acquire both LCS variants will not result in improved capability in certain areas of the program.

“Industrial base considerations that have factored into prior LCS decisions are less compelling, as both yards will be building LCS currently under contract through fiscal year 2021,” GAO said in the report.

“As the Navy pivots from LCS to the frigate program, which is estimated to cost more than $8 billion for ship construction alone, its approach would require Congress to appropriate funding with key unknowns.”

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