The real and long-lasting effects of the recent Defense Department directive to cut the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) fleet are just starting to sink in.
True, the Pentagon has cut programs in the past, even big and important ones that were near and dear to the hearts of the respective services. But there are some things to keep in mind.
One is that few of the previous programs that had been truncated anchored an overall service strategy the way the LCS does the Navy’s surface fleet plans. As Navy officials have stated publicly on more than one occasion, the service needs the proposed number of LCSs – 52 before the Pentagon put the hammer down – to meet its long-term requirements.
Indeed, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has used those comments as a reason to truncate the program – saying that the LCS should not be used mainly to bolster overall fleet counts.
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