After years of frequent mechanical failures ad embarrassing cost overruns, the Navy finally plans on deploying three hulls from its much-derided Littoral Combat Ship fleet by this fall after a protracted absence from the high seas, the U.S. Naval Institute reports.

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US Navy

Lawmakers are giving the U.S. Navy three more littoral combat ships than the service actually wants or needs, because of course they would.

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U.S. Navy

As a Navy “blackshoe” surface warfare officer, I saw firsthand how our fleet’s leaders have more missions than they have ships to fill them. I watched flag staff in a command center wrestle with operational problems that would have been easier if they’d had more hulls, more ships, of just about any kind of surface combatant. The Navy’s go-to workhorse destroyers are too expensive to fill the gap, and its recent small-ship programs have been plagued with problems.

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Photo via DoD

After years of cost overruns, underwhelming demonstrations, and debilitating mechanical failures, the Navy appears to be looking to supplement the troubled littoral combat ship program with a new ship to serve the same purpose, but better.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The survivor of a close-range assassination attempt in 2011, former Arizona Rep.  Gabrielle Giffords is as tough as they come, so it only makes sense that the U.S. Navy’s newly minted Littoral Combat Ship is getting one hell of a badass name — hers.

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Screenshot via YouTube

Nothing says freedom quite like launching 10,000 pound bombs from a warship during a trial exercise. But in July 2016, the USS Jackson littoral combat ship did just that off the coast of Florida.

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