Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel Backs Navy LCS Modernization Plan

U.S. Navy photo
U.S. Navy photo

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel supports the U.S. Navy‘s proposed modernization effort of the Littoral Combat Ships that are made by Austal USA and Lockheed Martin, Reuters reported Thursday.

Andrea Shalal writes the Navy wants to integrate new missiles, radar technology and other combat systems into the LCS fleet.

“The Navy’s new proposal, like the LCS, will continue to have its critics, but considering the context of our broader naval battle force and the current strategic and fiscal environment, I believe it represents our best and most cost effective option,” Hagel said Thursday, according to Reuters.

Sean Stackley, Navy acquisition chief, estimates the warship upgrade will cost $60 million to $75 million more than the $360 million price-per-unit stipulated in the existing contract.

He told reporters the branch plans to work out the modernization details in the coming months and prepare an acquisition strategy for inclusion in the branch’s fiscal 2017 budget plan.

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