McCain, Levin call for GAO review of littoral combat ship

GOP Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and Democratic Sen. Carl Levin (Mich.) sent a letter to the GAO asking for a review of the program, including problems with the ship’s frame and its three different mission configurations.

McCain said there were concerns that the Navy had deployed an LCS without completing testing to ensure the ship’s effectiveness and survivability, as well as questions about construction of the ship getting out of sync in the coming years.

The Navy has defended the ship, which is designed to operate in shallow waters where other warships cannot, as an essential part of its new shipbuilding strategy. Last year Lockheed Martin, which makes one of two LCS variants, said it had resolved issues with cracks on its lead ship for the program, the USS Freedom.

But a report from Project on Government Oversight this month, based on Navy documents and an Aviation Week report, found "serious problems with critical ship-wide systems, including rampant corrosion and flooding."

Hunter’s amendment passed the subcommittee unanimously and was included in the Defense authorization bill that’s set to be marked up in full committee next week.