LCS Program Juggling Construction Of 14 Ships
By DANIEL P. TAYLOR, Seapower Special Correspondent
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The littoral combat ship program currently has a lot to handle with 14 ships in construction and three in pre-construction, a situation that creates unique challenges for the Navy.
Capt. Mike Taylor, program manager for PMS-501 (LCS), told attendees at the Sea-Air-Space exposition April 9 that in addition to those 17 ships, he also is conducting a post-shakedown availability for five ships and trials for three ships.
The three ships currently under pre-construction are LCS 27, LCS 28 and LCS 30.
Taylor said the biggest challenge of managing so many ships is all of the milestones the program has to juggle. Each ship has numerous milestones, including christening, delivery, commissioning and others, so there is always a ship with some milestone coming up.
“That’s a lot of events,” Taylor said. “We spend a lot of time on the move. Any time in the yard is spent primarily going in and walking into ships so we understand everything.”
The captain said the Navy has learned a lot about how to handle the LCS program in recent years and figured out the post-delivery side of the equation for the most part. But with so many ships to be built, there still are many things the Navy will need to fine-tune before the program runs its course.
“That’s the biggest challenge, trying to understand all the things that need to be understood,” he added.