Tags: hagel | littoral | combat | ship

Hagel Backs Building 20 Littoral Combat Ships With Modifications

Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 05:34 PM

Departing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. will buy 20 modified Littoral Combat Ships with improved armor, months after he said he had “considerable reservations” about the vessel.

Hagel, who will step down when his successor is confirmed, said in a statement today that the new version of the ship "will offer improvements in ship lethality and survivability"” at an "affordable price." He said production will begin no later than fiscal 2019.

The defense secretary cut the program to 32 ships from 52 in January while ordering a study of modifications and alternatives. His statement didn’t make clear whether the 20 modified ships announced today would be split between the contractors dividing two versions of the first 20 ships, Lockheed Martin Corp. and Austal Ltd., or result in a competition between them.

Hagel also directed that the Navy present a plan by May examining the cost of making improvements to the 32 original Littoral Combat Ships.

The program to build a small ship designed for shallow coastal waters had come under scrutiny in Congress, and then from Hagel, over issues including development delays, cost increases and doubts about whether it could survive in battle.


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Departing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. will buy 20 modified Littoral Combat Ships with improved armor, months after he said he had "considerable reservations" about the vessel.
hagel, littoral, combat, ship
195
2014-34-11
Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 05:34 PM
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