As debate continues over both the design and construction of the Littoral Combat Ship, it's interesting to note that its predecessor, the FFG-7, was once the subject of some similar criticisms. According to a June 1977 CBO report:
The FFG-7 program has met with considerable criticism in recent years on several accounts. It has proved far more costly than originally planned: estimates of its unit cost rose from about $65 million to $168 million in constant dollars in just three years. At the same time, serious questions have been raised about its capabilities. Critics claim that the FFG lacks firepower and redundant sensors for operations in high-threat areas; that its single screw propulsion renders it vulnerable to attackers; that it lacks size and capacity for low-cost, mid-life modifications. Other critics have suggested that the FFG is too slow for conducting ASW operations against modern Soviet submarines.
In 1979, the GAO also raised concerns about issues including cost, anti-submarine warfare systems, manpower needs, and survivability. Though the LCS’ specific problems should certainly be corrected aggressively, we would do well to remember that such problems are also symptoms of long-standing flaws in the defense acquisition system.