WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) today called for a Government Accountability Office review of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. Reports from Aviation Week and the Project On Government Oversight have revealed critical deficiencies with the USS Freedom, the first variant of the ship, including a stern door that could not seal shut, continued cracking and corrosion, electrical outages, and other serious flaws that threaten the operational capabilities of the ship.
“It's disturbing that the Navy would accept a ship that fails to meet the basic requirements for a tugboat. The future of the fleet is corroding before our eyes,” said Speier. “I find it troubling that it takes whistleblowers and the press to bring these problems to light. It's time for an independent assessment to find out what's really going on with this program.”
Congresswoman Speier, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, will introduce an amendment to the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act requiring the Government Accountability Office to review the Navy's quality controls and knowledge of these problems. The amendment also asks for an assessment of the operations and sustainability strategy for the program moving forward.
“In their rush to move the program forward, the Navy appears to have given up quality control over its own ships,” Speier said. “Taxpayers have already paid $7.6 billion for the development and procurement of the LCS-1 variant, and for their money they are getting a ship that is cracking and corroding. We can't have sailors and taxpayers pay the costs of mismanagement.”