Tag Archives: Congress

Forbes Wants 'Intensive Oversight' On LCS, Hearings Likely

Forbes Wants ‘Intensive Oversight’ On LCS, Hearings Likely

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) will likely hold hearings on the state of the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship. AP Photo

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) will likely hold hearings on the state of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship. AP Photo

Congress will likely hold hearings on the state of the Littoral Combat Ship program, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) , the chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection forces, told reporters on Tuesday.

“We are going to do some intensive oversight of this program, which will include hearings,” Forbes said in a report from Reuters.

The hearings are prompted by an anticipated Government Accountability Office report that will likely advise Congress to slow down acquisition of the program so the ships and the planned mission packages.

“I have felt that LCS had bumps in the road but it was moving. The only thing that’s really raising this flag is what this GAO report may or may not say,” Forbes said.

Excerpts of a draft GAO LCS report have appeared in several press outlets. The draft recommends Congress slow down acquisition of the ships and the mission packages pending further study.

“The apparent disconnect between the LCS acquisition strategy and the needs of the end user suggests that a pause is needed,” a draft of the GAO report was quoted in a Friday Bloomberg story. “Congress is in a position to slow funding… pending the results of the technical studies that are already underway.”

The U.S. Navy currently plans to acquire 52 LCS hulls to round out the low-end of the Navy’s surface combatant roster. The two hulls being built — Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-class and Austal USA’s Independence-class — are part of a dual acquisition strategy formulated in 2010. After a fierce competition between Austal’s aluminum trimaran and Lockheed’s steel mono-hull design, the Navy elected to buy both versions in a deal for 20 ships with an estimated value of $8.9 billion.

In addition to four ships the Navy funded outside of the 2010 deal, the Navy’s current plan is to buy 24 ships with both hulls.

In November, Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, commander of U.S. Surface Forces, sent a classified memo to Navy leadership that advised narrowing down to a single LCS design modified to carry more weapons than the current version or an entirely new class of ship.

Document: May CRS Destroyer Report

Document: May CRS Destroyer Report

USS Spruance (DDG-111) is pierside at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif., Jan, 2012. US Navy Photo

USS Spruance (DDG-111) is pierside at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif., Jan, 2012. US Navy Photo

From the Congressional Research Service May, 14 2013 Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress:

As part of its action on the Navy’s FY2013 budget, Congress funded the procurement of three Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class destroyers, or one more than the two that the Navy had requested for FY2013. The Navy is examining whether, following the March 1, 2013, sequester on Department of Defense (DOD) funding, the third DDG-51 will be executable with current funding. If the Navy determines that it is executable without additional funding, it would be built on a schedule similar to what would be executed for a ship fully funded in FY2014. If the Navy determines that it is not executable with current funding, Congress would have the option of providing additional funding for the ship in FY2014 to make it executable. Read More

Navy Awards $6.1 Billion in Nine Destroyer Deal

Navy Awards $6.1 Billion in Nine Destroyer Deal

USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) is moored at its homeport at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. US Navy Photo

USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) is moored at its homeport at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. US Navy Photo

The Navy has awarded $6.1 billion in contracts to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and General Dynamic Bath Iron Works (BIW) for nine Arleigh Burke–class guided missile destroyers (DDG-51) to be purchased between Fiscal Years 2013 to 2017 in a massive multi-year shipbuilding deal, Naval Sea Systems Command told USNI News on Monday.

The contract award has HII building five of the hulls for $3.3 billion and BIW four for $2.8 billion. The multi–year deal — starting with future ships Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) and Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) — includes an option for a tenth DDG-51 if the Navy can overcome a sequestration funding challenge. The extra ship would likely be built in 2014 by BIW, NAVSEA said. Read More

Document: HASC Readiness Committee Calls For LCS Sustainment Plan

Document: HASC Readiness Committee Calls For LCS Sustainment Plan

From the May, 23 2013 House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee mark:
The committee notes the critical nature of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)
program and the importance of the initial deployment of the USS Freedom to the
Republic of Singapore to test and refine operational support and sustainment
concepts. The LCS class takes a unique approach to maintenance which relies
heavily on contractor-provided maintenance in contrast to other Navy ship classes,
which typically use the Navy’s organic capabilities and U.S. shipyards to provide
maintenance. Read More

Forbes Critical of New Navy Ship Design

Forbes Critical of New Navy Ship Design

Lockheed Martin Photo

Artist Concept of a DDG-51 Flight III. Lockheed Martin Photo

A congressional committee is calling into question the Navy’s plan to adapt an almost 30-year old hull design to be the centerpiece of the service’s future ballistic missile defense strategy.

Included in the mark from the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection forces, is a requirement for the Navy to create a report on the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) guided missile destroyer. Read More

East: Pentagon Acquisition Chief Sees Tough Year Ahead

East: Pentagon Acquisition Chief Sees Tough Year Ahead

rank Kendall, the under secretary of defense, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics in 2012.

rank Kendall, the under secretary of defense, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics in 2012.

The Pentagon’s top acquisition official apologized he “didn’t have better news” in discussing the Department of Defense’s fiscal outlook during his keynote address on Tuesday at the EAST: Joint Warfighting 2013 symposium in Virginia Beach, Va.

Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics warned the Department of Defense might have to again operate under a Continuing Resolution rather than a budget for Fiscal Year 2014.

“It’s starting to make me nervous,” he said. Read More

Opinion: U.S. Sub Suppliers at Risk From Foreign Competition

Opinion: U.S. Sub Suppliers at Risk From Foreign Competition

 

U.S. made parts in this Virginia-class submarine could be replaced by foreign components.

U.S. made parts in this Virginia-class submarine could be replaced by foreign components.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert has long warned of a decline in U.S. companies that provide critical components to the nation’s most technologically sophisticated hardware: nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers.

“I worry about the industrial base,” Greenert said at the Credit Suisse/McAllese Defense Programs Conference in Washington, D.C., on March 12. “Ninety percent of the industry that builds our nuclear components is single source. . . . It’s the second or third tier. It’s ‘Bob’s Nuclear Valve Shop.’” Read More

Navy Plan Calls for More Sub Funding

Navy Plan Calls for More Sub Funding

Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee (SSBN-734). US Navy Photo

Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee (SSBN-734). US Navy Photo

The Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan warns Congress unless the Pentagon can find more money to complete the Navy’s planned 12 new Ohio-class Replacement ballistic missile submarines the service will be unable to meet its future obligations. Read More

Navy: Ohio Replacement Negotiations 'Have Not Progressed'

Navy: Ohio Replacement Negotiations ‘Have Not Progressed’

An undated artist's rendering of the Ohio Replacement. Naval Sea Systems Command

An undated artist’s rendering of the Ohio Replacement. Naval Sea Systems Command

The Navy’s top acquisition official told the Senate Armed Services Committee Seapower Subcommittee that talks with the Defense Department “have not progressed” in putting the Ohio-class ballistic-missile replacement program into a special National Capital Ships Account.

Testifying on 8 May, Sean Stackley said the long-range impact of keeping the 12 Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines in the Navy’s shipbuilding account means “we will not be able to hit the numbers” to build other ships. Read More