Why the Navy Needs to Re-Think Its Newest Ship

An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter prepares to land...
An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter prepares to land aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1). (Photo credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery)

Galrahn over at Information Dissemination provides a slightly technical but extremely readable account of why the U.S. Navy’s grand strategy and deployment plans are out of sync with the capabilities it is fielding, and how it is tailoring the strategy to justify its procurement of the Littoral Combat Ship rather than starting from strategy and building platforms to suit. (“Questionable Assumptions“)

I am a longtime Navy booster, but I have become discouraged in recent years by the Pentagon’s failure to procure and field ships (especially surface combatants of any size) that are capable of achieving their mission in a timely, economical manner. It is enough to make me pine for the days of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigates, despite their design limitations.

Ignoring the program’s teething pains in coming up to operational readiness, Galrahn offers us a chapter and verse listing of the strategic issues surrounding the LCS and its capabilities. This is a discussion that should concern every American taxpayer, regardless of political persuasion, because it cuts to the heart of the massive procurement dysfunction in the Pentagon.

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Author: David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.

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