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.


 
 

 

Headlines January 30, 2015

News: Taliban claims responsibility for attack on Americans at military base near airport - The Taliban claimed responsibility Jan. 30 for a shooting incident at a military base attached to Kabul’s international airport yesterday that killed three American civilian contractors and an Afghan national, saying the attacker had infiltrated the ranks of the security forces. Commission...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

Military judge weighs restrictions on Gitmo female guards A military judge is deciding whether to continue restricting the use of female guards at Guantanamo. Navy Capt. J. Kirk Waits heard closing arguments Jan. 29 at the base in Cuba during a pretrial hearing for Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Waits didn’t say when he will rule. Hadi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey

Cope South experts exchange knowledge, techniques

Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey TSgt. Sam Bishop, center left, and SSgt. Jeffrey Stephens discuss propeller maintenance with Bangladesh air force maintainers, from the 101st Special Flying Unit, during exercise Cope...
 

 

Air Force names 2-star to lead F-35 Integration Office

With the initial operating capability date of the F-35 Lightning II quickly approaching, the Air Force appointed Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian as the director of a larger Air Force F-35 Integration Office, Feb. 1. In addition to gaining new leadership, the F-35 Integration Office will also grow from a staff of four to 12 and...
 
 
boeing-ana2

Boeing announces ANA’s commitment to more jetliners

Airline continues fleet modernization with Boeing airplanes Boeing and All Nippon Airways announced Jan. 30 the airline’s intent to purchase three 787-10 Dreamliners to add additional flexibility to the airline’s 787 fleet....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Air Force risks becoming too small to succeed under sequestration

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C., as Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joesph F. Dunf...
 




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>