Apparently, I was too caught up writing the last post to notice the press release on the keel-laying of the first LCS. I knew it happenned, but this post from Rontini brings up some points I did not know. Such as:
The CNO wants 75-100 of these things?!? And they are going to have to cut back a whole stack of other programs to afford it. Good call, since it is such a proven system. Oh wait, they couldn't even make up their mind what hull shape to use, so they are starting off with 2!
A quote from the article: Clark said the LCS will be a safe ship for sailors, even if it is hit by enemy fire, despite the ship being built to commercial-ship standards instead of military specifications. "Mil spec drove costs up, and didn't make it better for the sailor," Clark said. But building LCSs with lower-cost construction designs will be "good for the taxpayers and good for the sailor," he said. Because the LCSs are to be high-speed, stealthy ships, they are intended to avoid enemy fire in the first place.
Why didn't we think of this before! Just don't.get.hit. Then you will be fine! Great plan. An all aluminum hull. Should stand up well in the littorals, where shore guns can reach...
Another quote: "We will have those discussions" with the two companies on cutting costs of those classes of ships, but not on the LCS, Young said. And Lockheed Martin agrees with that."
So let's cut ships that are much further along for the power-point only ship. Of course Lockheed agrees! They don't get nearly as much money from the VA-class as they stand to gain from the LCS!
Oh, and while it has been suggested to go slow at the beginning of the program, Lockheed "said that wouldn't be necessary, because a great deal will be learned just in construction of the first LCSs." Because, you know, testing a system never reveals anything new! Gah!
I am not sure what the source article is, and have not time to find it, sorry... If anyone wants it, let me know and I will track it down.