After years of criticism, debate and angst, the US Navy appears to — finally — have embraced the littoral combat ships that will prove to be a critical element of its surface force.
To address persistent concerns that both versions of the speedy warship were too lightly armed and vulnerable, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the Navy to study alternatives and capped the program at 32 ships.
Unsurprisingly, the Navy proposed adding weapons and improving the survivability of the last 20 ships of the class, referring to them as small surface combatants.
Critics maintain the changes will do little to improve the utility of the LCS while increasing unit cost by tens of millions of dollars apiece.
Just imagine what the Navy could have done in terms of designing a new frigate if it had never indulged in the poorly thought out LCS program in the first place.