25 January 2006

The All-Lockheed post

Some LCS notes:  Lockheed recently was awarded another $144M for the ADS system that will be deployed on the LCS, bringing the total for this system up to $243M (On a contract originally slated for $21M).  The ADS system sounds spiffy – a bunch of acoustic arrays on the ocean floor that then process and transmit their data to the nearby LCS, making them a portable, little brother to SOSUS.  Disregarding the enormous technical hurdles, though, I am left to wonder – when was the last time *you* got good contact info from SOSUS?
Lockheed (again) also reports that their version of the LCS is still on cost and schedule for a Feb 2007 debut.  However, they list the cost for a LCS hull at $220M – no doubt to promote the “faster cheaper” that the Navy is pushing.  However, I am left to wonder if that is just the hull cost?  It seems probable, in which case this figure is deceptive, as one needs to consider the cost of the modules that the LCS will need to have available to meet its ever-growing mission requirements.  These include not only the ADS module mentioned above, but also the minehunting module ($200M [at the moment – overall additional $10M-$15M per pod, so $20M-$30M per hull] for the Airborne Laser Mine Detection Systems – although it will not be quite as capable as one would like to base the choppers that will carry this system [as discussed in the link]; $55M for Low-Rate Initial Production of the AQS-20 system [final cost = ??]; and the WLD-1 UUV to carry it all [$55M for LRIP, final cost per unit = ??] ), and the SUW and Land Attack modules (can’t find a cost for these, but they are using piece parts of the Lockheed designed NETFIRES system, another project for which I cannot find public info on the cost – although it is a little out of my wheelhouse – it is part of the Army’s FCS), not to mention the module integration effort ($159M for something you would think would be a requirement for the module design teams – make sure this works with the ship).  So what is the true cost of the LCS?  Good question.

On a different note, Lockheed is bidding on a contract to run the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which is up for bid following a string of security breaches there and at Los Alamos.  The Los Alamos contract, as you may or may not recall, was recently awarded to the University of California, the original manager of the labs in question during the security issues, in conjunction with Bechtel.  UC also managed to hold on to its contract to run Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Lastly, This report, if true, is potentially quite disturbing.  Large contractor costs, especially after the initial contract has been let, is an often overlooked, and ugly truth in government acquisitions.  I am not to the point of seeing a conspiracy, but a ticked off superior smacking an employee who went over his head the first chance he gets sounds likely.  Oh, and the contractor this guy blew the whistle on?  Yeah, Lockheed.


At 2/06/2006, Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

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