The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) has taken a lot of criticism, including editorials by Phil Ewing at Navy Times Scoop Deck (some of the most recent here and here). Ridicule of the program has become a regular feature of at least one Naval blog.
Perhaps most telling, in answer to Congressional inquiry, the GAO has completed an evaluation of the program and it isn’t complementary, finding that many of the decisions have been questionable, including the decision to deploy the ship on a law enforcement patrol, and that there is still substantial risk that these vessels will not fulfill their promise. Hopefully the Coast guard can learn from the Navy’s mistakes. You can read the entire GAO report it is here:
It is fairly long at 55 pages, but in addition to the criticism, its the best overview of the program I’ve seen.
How can something like this (or Deepwater) happen? One commentator has an explanation. Are loss of accountability, personnel assignment policies, and careerism at the root of the problem? Are these problems for the Coast Guard as well?