In the Kabuki Theatre that was the follow-on LCS 3 and 4 contracts, we finally have a reveal–of sorts. From al.com:

A second littoral combat ship to be built at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile will cost at least $547.7 million, according to figures released this morning.

The actual price of the contract awarded in May is $433.7 million, according to the Navy’s Sea Systems Command, but that number doesn’t include $114 million worth of work and material left over from a previous ship order that was canceled. The contract price also doesn’t cover the cost of government-furnished equipment, change orders and program management support, the command said in a news release.

Ok. So the Austal boat chalked up a hefty price cut. Now…with the prices of the NSC Cutters (according a Feb. Defense Daily report) converging in the $550 million dollar range, hopefully we’ll be able to put a damper on some of the “NSC Cutter as LCSette” debate. 

I have yet to discover the LCS-1 pricepoint–which, if substantially less than the LCS-2, would make for a fascinating development. UPDATE: Defensenews has the skinny–LCS-3 and LCS-4 cost about the same…not good for the LCS-1 class:

The contract for LCS 3, awarded March 23 to Lockheed Martin, is for $470,854,144, according to a Naval Sea Systems press release issued Dec. 3. The ship reuses certain materials from an earlier LCS 3 canceled in April 2007. Those materials, valued at $78 million, bring the contract value to $548,854,144.

Certainly a far cry from the original $220 million proposal (which…isn’t that what the JHSVs cost?). Now, that said, I seem to recall that when the Virginia Class boats made substantial cuts to the bottom line (from $2.4 billion to $2 billion apiece), there was general celebration in Washington (For a sample, read this standard bit of Lexington Institute cheerleading). But for the LCS-2? The future amphib of the fleet? A big chop in the price?

Yeah. Listen to them crickets.




Posted by Defense Springboard in Navy, Uncategorized


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  • Chuck Hill

    “The contract price also doesn’t cover the cost of government-furnished equipment, change orders and program management support, the command said in a news release.”

    Doesn’t the NSC price include these costs?

  • David Sanders

    The NSC cost would go down if you add 55 hulls to the contract. The LCS costsare engineered to look smaller than the actual cost.

  • http://springboarder.blogspot.com springbored

    I don’t think it does. Certainly, the other big shoe in the LCS issue will become the cost of the “mission modules.” But then again, I don’t see those as any different from, say, aircraft on a carrier, or missles in a DDG.

    Regarding the NSC cost, I do not know. I do know that the usual cost quotations DO NOT include the structural modifications for the early NSCs (nor the reduction in the originally expected number of NSC at-sea-operating-days-per-year or the reduced-by-many-square-miles surveillance envelope used to justify that class).

    Accounting is is tough enough. But Pentagon accounting…it’s a glorious thing.

  • http://www.hisuperferry.blogspot.com Mauibrad

    Re: “A second littoral combat ship to be built at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile will cost at least $547.7 million…Yeah. Listen to them crickets.”

    Crickets? They won’t come in on budget. Probably come in again closer to $700 million they spent on LCS-2. It’s all funny money. Inflation alone’s gonna push it over budget. These guys think the American public are idiots. The financiers, though, the Chinese and Indians buying the bonds, they’re not idiots. Here’s to guessing there will be 2 more LCS built much more likely than 10 more built. Would guess there will be no more than 5 LCS vessels as opposed to 55 when all is said and done.

  • James

    I hope you’re right. Honestly, I do not know why we’re buying these things. They cost nearly as much as a ship of twice their displacement (see the F-125 frigate), and have only a fraction of the capability at any point in time (unless it is paramount to be able to outrun a torpedo). In a nutshell, these are basically anti-piracy ships and we’re paying a premium for them…hell they can’t even conduct NFS. Since the SSN-774 program is going so well, why don’t we build some more of those…and buy a few F-125’s from the Germans to provide fire support for the Marines?

  • Grandpa Bluewater

    Mauibrad:

    One more stack of chips on the Bluewater side bet. Welcome.

    Did you throw away your shoes completely or do you come to the BIG BIG island (Amerika Shima)from time to time?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    So much for stealth. Especially in the littoral.

    http://shock.military.com/Shock/videos.do?displayContent=204401&ESRC=dod.nl

    A reminder that HMS Hood reportedly touched 41 knots on two occasions, and Benson/Gleaves-class DDs topped out at 37.5 knots. The former, and eleven of the latter were sunk in action against the enemy. Many of the DDs met their ends in the waters around Guadalcanal.

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