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Life Cycle Logistics

New GAO Report on the LCS Sustainment Strategy

New GAO Report on the LCS Sustainment Strategy

New GAO Report on the LCS Sustainment Strategy
Bill Kobren
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a new report of interest to the life cycle logistics and product support manager community entitled “GAO-22-105387 Littoral Combat Ship: Actions Needed to Address Significant Operational Challenges and Implement Planned Sustainment Approach”.

According to the GAO, “the Navy is planning for a total of 35 Littoral Combat Ships, which are designed to operate in shallow waters close to shore. But the Navy hasn't demonstrated that this type of ship can perform its intended missions. For example, operational testing found challenges in the ship's defenses. Also, some key equipment has failed, and the Navy is behind schedule in developing capabilities such as mine countermeasures. The Navy is taking steps to address these and other issues, but doesn't have a comprehensive plan to resolve them. We recommended making such a plan and tying the decision to use the ships to the progress made in addressing the issues.”

The auditors also noted that “… the Navy is facing challenges in implementing a revised maintenance approach, under which Navy personnel will perform some maintenance currently being conducted by contractors. Until the Navy determines the specific tasks Navy personnel will perform, it risks not being able to meet the maintenance needs of the LCS, thus hindering the ships' ability to carry out their intended missions”, saying “..the Navy's operating and support (O&S) cost estimates for the LCS do not account for the cost implications of its revised maintenance approach. Specifically, the Navy has not assessed the cost implications of its revised maintenance approach, and thus lacks a clear picture of its impact on O&S costs. Some of the Navy's O&S actual cost data are also incomplete and inaccurate. … Without complete and accurate cost data, the Navy is at risk of failing to anticipate O&S cost increases that could create challenges in funding LCS as intended or delivering capabilities when expected. Finally, the Navy has not updated its O&S cost estimates to reflect its revised operational and sustainment concepts and has not incorporated actual cost data into some of its estimates. Without complete information on the cost of implementing the revised operational and sustainment concepts, and the use of actual cost data, the Navy will not be able to analyze the differences between estimates and actual costs—important elements for identifying and mitigating critical risks to the LCS.”