Thursday, December 20, 2007

Common Hulls for Navy, Coast Guard

The time is ripe. From Norman Polmar:

The massive cost overruns and some technical problems with the U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the Coast Guard's new cutters of the Deepwater Project led a key member of Congress to propose a merger of the two programs. Representative Gene Taylor (Democrat-Mississippi) has told Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead and Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen that the two services should look to pursue a "common hull" for LCS and the Coast Guard's National Security Cutter program.

Representative Taylor said "We can't afford to keep repeating mistakes," referring to the massive ship acquisition and development problems that both services have had with key shipbuilding initiatives.

Building warships to fight Al Qaeda pirates and watch the navies of potential Third World adversaries should be a no-brainer, but Washington has caused each program to be over-complicated and hardly affordable. If there's anything we should learn from the Army's successful counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq, is that numbers count as well as strategy. The Navy has the plan, now let them build the ships to support it.

Galrahn at Information Dissemination has more on the Navy COIN strategy, or lack thereof.