Sen. John McCain is the rays of the Marine for the spending of $12.4 billion for 26 littoral combat ships — called it “an unfortunate and classic example of defence acquisition has gone wrong.”
McCain, R-Ariz., a Navy fighter pilot during the War in Vietnam and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the United States cannot afford to waste money on unnecessary or poorly performing programs.
The coast of ships, designed to operate in shallow coastal waters, in the first instance, were budgeted at $220 million per ship, but the costs ballooned to $478 million per ship.
The Navy also said that the cost of each ship is under the congress-imposed cap of $480 million since that limit was set in 2011, and the production cost per ship is steadily on the decline.
Navy Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, commander of Naval Surface Forces, defended the program of the legislators in the House of Representatives earlier this month.
“We learn about the problems. We are learning about how to maintain it, and going forward, I am 100 percent sure that we are addressing these issues and we will defeat them,” Rowden said.
In addition to the ships, which McCain says “no proven combat ability,” he singles out the Pentagon for improperly spending $458 million on incomplete or inappropriate travel expenses; $58 million for alternative fuel for the Navy; and $1 million for compensation for unauthorized charges in casino’s and strip clubs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.