Statement of Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project On Government Oversight:
The Navy’s last-minute, full-court press to protect its troubled Littoral Combat Ship is not only disingenuous; it’s also an appalling example of how far Navy brass will go to protect one of its biggest contractors. Members of the House of Representatives and Senate did the right thing by demanding to know why the Navy’s close-to-shore combat ship has been plagued with leaks, corrosion and engine failures.
It’s true that some of these problems were first raised a year ago, and some have been addressed. But while the Navy has fixed the cracks in the pictures that we recently sent to Congress, it has not stopped new cracks from appearing. As we and Aviation Week have pointed out, the corrosion and engine failures are still a problem. Aviation Week recently published a photo of a corroded stern door that does not close properly. That photo was taken this year, after the Navy says the problems were “fixed.”
But if that’s not enough evidence that the Navy is pushing Lockheed Martin’s agenda, consider that just last week, the U.S.S. Freedom—the close-to-shore ship designed and built by Lockheed Martin—failed a pre-inspection.
Lockheed is in line to build dozens of ships based on the Freedom’s design. That’s billions of dollars on the table. Now, ask yourself again, why is the Navy trying to mislead Congress?
To read our detailed rebuttal to the Navy, go here.
To read our letter to Congress, go here.