What a Sh%$ Show

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was a failure, largely because it hot swappable mission module system created an underarmored and under performing frigate, though they were rather speedy.

Well, now the Navy is trying to replace their latest failure with the FFG(X), which would replace the long serving Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate.

The problem is that, because of the inevitable mission creep, the cost and weight are completely out of line with a frigate.

They will be replacing the 4100 ton displacement Perry frigate with a 7400 ton ship, which continuing to procure the 9,700 ton Arleigh Burke class, only it’s supposed to be half the price.

Ships, much like hamburger, and purchased by the pound, so the navy’s promise of a relatively inexpensive ship was always a fools errand, but even so the original estimate of $940 million, which is a ripoff to begin with, since the FREMM from which it is derived costs about €600M ($650M), but it now appears that it will cost about $1.4B a ship.

This is insane and unsustainable:

The Navy truncated orders for its ill-fated Littoral Combat Ship because the small vessels were vulnerable to attack and too lightly armed. Now, a new report suggests that the frigate intended to replace it may cost 56% more than projected partly because it’s bigger.

The service projects that 18 of 20 new frigates will cost an average of $940 million each in inflation-adjusted dollars. The first two are estimated at about $1 billion each because of one-time costs.
relates to Big Navy Frigate Risks Oversized $1.4 Billion Cost Per Ship

But the Congressional Research Service alerted lawmakers this week to “a potential issue” worth reviewing: the accuracy of Navy cost estimates considering that “ships of the same general type and complexity that are built under similar production conditions” tend to have similar — and substantially higher — costs per ton of displacement.

CRS raised a warning because, at 7,400 tons, the frigate to be built in Wisconsin by a unit of Italy’s Fincantieri SpA is about three-fourths the size of an Arleigh Burke destroyer and carries many of the same weapons systems. The latest of the destroyers are estimated to cost $1.9 billion apiece.

That could put the cost for most of the frigates at as much as $1.47 billion each, “an increase of about 56%,” based on comparing their tonnage to the destroyers’, the research service said.

CRS suggested lawmakers ask the Navy the basis for “its view that the frigate — a ship about three-quarters as large” as the destroyer, with installed capabilities that are “in many cases” similar — “can be procured for about one-half the cost.”

It can’t, and it’s over priced, and they are demanding too much from the platform, and they making the ship even larger than the model from which it is derived, (The FREMM is about 6,400 tons) so it’s likely to end up costing more than the Burkes.

Cancel this now, and procure a frigate, and not a destroyer with a slightly smaller gun.

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