Reports of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) having corrosion issues.

Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) returns to…

Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, after participating in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises July 31, 2010(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Jon Dasbach/Released)

According to a forthcoming Bloomberg News article by David Lerman and Tony Capaccio, the Navy has discovered corrosion problems in the General Dynamics-Austal variant of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), which was commissioned less than two years ago. The “aggressive” corrosion was found in the propulsion areas of USS Independence. To permanently repair the corrosion the ship will have to be dry-docked and have its water-jet propulsion system removed, according to a written statement the Navy provided to congressional appropriations committees and Bloomberg News.

This is simply phenomenal considering that the ship completed its maiden voyage in April 2010, just fourteen months ago. This is, however, in line with the LCS programs’ history of problems and comes on the heels of major cost overruns, which we documented just two weeks ago. This will likely add to development costs that have already increased 287 percent from baseline estimates, and may add to annual operating costs, already over $36 million per ship, if such aggressive corrosion cannot be prevented.

Source: Ben Freeman for POGO.

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