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Congress Is Giving The Navy 3 More Littoral Combat Ships Than It Wants Or Needs
Lawmakers are giving the U.S. Navy three more littoral combat ships than the service actually wants or needs, because of course they would.
Although the Navy set a requirement of 32 LCS', lawmakers offered up funding for three more while cutting funding for modules that would make the current ships more useful, such as an anti-submarine warfare package and a variable-depth sonar.
As Defense News' David Larter reports:
The annual cutting spree has created a baffling cycle of inanity wherein Congress, unhappy with the development of the modules falling behind schedule, will cut funding and cause development to fall further behind schedule, according to a source familiar with the details of the impact of the cuts who spoke on background. All this while Congress continues to pump money into building ships without any of the mission packages having achieved what’s known as initial operating capability, meaning the equipment is ready to deploy in some capacity.
(The surface warfare version has IOC-ed some initial capabilities but is adding a Longbow Hellfire missile system that will be delayed with cuts, the source said.)
The Navy isn't the only service to deal with this kind of weirdness. The Army, for example, repeatedly and emphatically told Congress, please, for the love of all that's holy, do not give us money for any more tanks, before lawmakers authorized a truckload of cash for the service to buy more or upgrade its existing tanks.
Then, of course, there is the issue of the LCS itself, which has been unofficially dubbed the "Little Crappy Ship" due its host of problems, from insane cost overruns to lack of survivability. Or its absence in the deployment schedule, despite nearly a dozen ships being deemed ready.
Still, funding more of a terrible ship rather than improving the existing ones is pretty much par for the course in the defense contracting world. With LCS numbers 33, 34, and 35, we're just seeing the most recent examples.
Search efforts are underway to find a West Point cadet, who has gone missing along with his M4 carbine, the U.S. Military Academy announced on Sunday.
"There is no indication the Cadet poses a threat to the public, but he may be a danger to himself," a West Point news release says.
Academy officials do not believe the missing cadet has access to any magazines or ammunition, according to the news release, which did not identify the cadet, who is a member of the Class of 2021.
Three soldiers were killed and another three injured when their Bradley Fighting Vehicle rolled over during a training exercise at Fort Stewart in Georgia on Sunday morning, Army officials announced.
KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war.
Esper's trip to Kabul comes amid questions about the United States' commitments to allies after a sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and Trump's long-time desire to get out of foreign engagements.
Mark Esper is the third person after James Mattis and Patrick Shanahan to helm the Pentagon since Donald Trump became president, and he's apparently not making much of an impression on the commander-and-chief.
On Sunday, Trump sent a very real tweet on "Secretary Esperanto," which is either a reference to a constructed international language developed more than 130 years ago and only spoken on the PA system in Gattaca or an egregious instance of autocorrect.
This rifle could be a dark horse candidate for the Army's next-generation squad weapon — and you can snag one next year
The Army says it's settled on three defense contractors to battle it out to become the service's M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon replacements, but at least one other company is hoping that a bit of consumer approval could help upset the competition.