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GAO: Congress Should Not Fund 2017 LCS Acquisition

Littoral Combat ShipThe Government Accountability Office has recommended Congress to not fund the acquisition of two Littoral Combat Ships requested for 2017 due to what auditors identified as the vessel’s obsolete design and construction backlogs.

A GAO report published Thursday says the Defense Department has not fully implemented prior recommendations regarding LCS and frigate acquisitions such as the use of a business case to balance resources.

Auditor noted cost, capacity and schedule of LCS expectations have degraded from 55 ships at $220 million each to 40 vessels at an estimated $478 million per platform.

Design, schedule and seaframe expectations for LCS have also decreased over time from a 40- to 50-knot ship requirement to a 1,000-nautical mile capacity at 40 knots, the report added.

Congress will make a decision on funding and oversight of the program to tackle acquisition of two additional baseline LCS in fiscal year 2017 and the authorization request to purchase 12 frigates in fiscal year 2018.

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