Expert questions Navy budget credibility


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May 5, 2007

The U.S. Navy’s plans for building new ships and aircraft are in jeopardy from potentially shrinking future defense budgets and significant underestimation of costs, a key analyst said Monday.

Risks in cost growth are greater for ships than aircraft, Eric Labs, a defense analyst with the Congressional Budget Office, told an audience at the Heritage Foundation in Washington....
SecNav: Shipbuilding will get a deep look

Navy Secretary Donald Winter reacted to criticism of the shipbuilding budget Wednesday, saying the sea service is taking a hard look at its spending habits — but industry must keep up its end of the deal, too.

“We have some pressurization on the shipbuilding budget. That’s evidenced, if you will, in challenges we’ve seen on programs like the Littoral Combat Ship,” he said. “We’re putting a lot of pressure on contractors there, to live up to their commitments — what they have stated these ships will cost. And we’re engaged in a very significant reassessment of how we acquire our ships.”...
Admiral confident of LCS despite setbacks

Despite major cost problems with the program and some skepticism about the design concepts, Adm. Gary Roughead remains convinced that Littoral Combat Ships are the ships the Navy needs.

“I’ve always believed in the LCS, believed in the need for LCS,” he said. “And that’s just reaffirmed to me that that is going to be a ship of the future for the U.S. Navy.”...


The first of the new littoral combat ships, Freedom, shown during its christening ceremony in September 2006.


Early in his career Adm. Gary Roughead served aboard the USS Asheville, a gunboat that Roughead compares to the Littorial Combat Ship.