Defense

July 26, 2013

CNO defends LCS program in wake of GAO skepticism

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert tours the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard to view the construction progress of multiple Freedom-class variants of the littoral combat ship (LCS) in various stages of completion. While touring the facilities, Greenert also observed improvements made to the shipyard’s manufacturing facilities, which has resulted in the more efficient production of future LCS models.

The Littoral Combat Ship program was under a microscope this week after news of an electrical problem resulted in a brief loss of power for USS Freedom (LCS 1) over the weekend and the Government Accountability Office released a critical, 72-page report today scrutinizing the cost of the program.

However, top Navy leadership including the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert view the performance problems as common for any first-in-class platform–especially in an innovative platform such as the LCS with its interchangeable modular payload design enabling the ship to conform to its battle space.

Greenert spoke about the GAO report that was leaked days in advance during a Pentagon press brief held July 19 to discuss the status of the Navy with the Pentagon Press Corps. In his comments Greenert compared the LCS with debuts of previous first- in-class ships and said there was initial skepticism with those platforms too.

“My view is, what we are finding is not that significantly different from the Perry class of the ?60s and 1970s, the Spruance class of the ?70s, nor even the Arleigh Burke class when it comes to the size and the impact on it,” Greenert said defending the initial hiccups of the LCS.

Not one for excuses and understanding of our nation’s budget constraints Greenert added, “But we need to be vigilant, we need to follow up, and we have work to do.”

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert tours the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard to view the construction progress of multiple Freedom-class variants of the littoral combat ship in various stages of completion. While touring the facilities, Greenert also observed improvements made to the shipyard’s manufacturing facilities, that has resulted in the more efficient production of future LCS models.

For CNO, that work continued yesterday, July 24 less than a week after the Pentagon press brief as he toured the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard July 24 to observe the progress of several Freedom-class variants of the LCS currently under construction.

During his tour, Greenert walked through several of the $74 million improved Marinette Marine shipbuilding facilities to see firsthand future LCSs: (LCS 5) Milwaukee, (LCS 7) Detroit, (LCS 9) Little Rock, and (LCS 11) Sioux City not only being built, but being built better with integrated feedback from industry and Sailors in the fleet.

President and CEO of Marinette Marine Chuck Goddard said efficiencies in the building process resulting from upgrades to the shipyard will drive down costs per unit of the LCS over time while the fleet?s feedback is resulting in a more superior product for our Sailors charged with protecting the world?s sea lanes.

“I?m very impressed,” Greenert told a group of Marinette reporters following his tour of the shipyard.

Greenert was equally impressed by the communication between the LCS industry and Sailors in the fleet who?s valuable feedback is enabling Marinette Marine to change designs and manufacturing processes as necessary to fix issues with current LCS models and prevent them from being integrated into future LCSs.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert tours the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard to view the construction progress of multiple Freedom-class variants of the littoral combat ship in various stages of completion. While touring the facilities, Greenert also observed improvements made to the shipyard’s manufacturing facilities, which has resulted in the more efficient production of future LCS models.

“We have a team effort,” Greenert said about the Sailors who operate the ships and the shipbuilders in Marinette Marine. “Their feedback and connection with what Freedom is undergoing, with what Fort Worth is undergoing back into the design is impressive and it turns quickly into the shipyard.”

Greenert reiterated to the Marinette reporters that historically, it’s not uncommon to have to modify a first-in-class ship’s design once it becomes operational despite best efforts to fix and find all of the bugs during the testing period.

“It really isn’t about the quality of the workmanship, I think the question is what decisions the Navy has made to build this type of ship, the decisions we collectively made as to how we were going to build them in sequence, design and changes, that’s not unusual,” Greenert said. “We need to take them deliberately and seriously and we are in as much of a partnership as we can with the General Accounting Office.”

Ultimately, the Navy is committed to the LCS Greenert said.

“This class of ship is so important to us, for its modularity, its speed, its volume,” Greenert said.

“I came here to see how the changes are coming around, what is the relationship more long term,” Greenert said to reporters at the conclusion of his confidence visit and tour of Marinette Marine. “We’re only in the starting pieces of this long program.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 
 

TSgt promotion release delayed to allow system validation

Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System, officials announced. The 15E6 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation and promotion system. Recent...
 

 

Freedom completes rough water trials

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials in late March the Navy reported May 21. The U.S. Navy must demonstrate the seaworthiness and structural integrity of each new ship class. One of the primary ways the Navy verifies these qualities is through a...
 
 

Air Force releases Strategic Master Plan

The Air Force officially released the Strategic Master Plan May 21, which is the latest in a series of strategic documents designed to guide the organizing, training and equipping of the force over the coming decades. The SMP builds on the strategic imperatives and vectors described in the capstone document, America’s Air Force: A Call...
 
 

HYT extension possible for SrA-MSgt in 35 career fields

Eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants in 35 Air Force specialties will be able to apply for a high year of tenure extension and, if approved, will be able to extend between 12 and 24 months past their current HYT. The Air Force is introducing several personnel and manpower initiatives to...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>