January 22, 2010 by Matthew Potter
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Events, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman Corp., Services, U.S. Navy, development program, production program
In the last week the U.S. Navy commissioned the General Dynamics built U.S.S. Independence (LCS-2). LCS-1 is under construction by Northrop Grumman. The original plan for the class was to have each company build about half. The two designs are completely different to say the least with GD building a tri-marine hull and Northrop a more traditional one. Both ships are outfitted the same with weapons and sensors. The U.S.S. Freedom (LCS-1) and the Independence are ships around 400 feet long and displacing about 3,000 tons.
If all goes well the Navy will build up to 55 of the ships. The most recent plan discussed was after completion of these two and one more to each design that a new contract will be competed and only one design will be built. Both ships have suffered from cost and schedule overruns and the optimistic initial cost assumptions were not met leading to the program restructure. If the plan is executed these ships and the new destroyer will be the main force of the U.S. Navy after 2020.