National Security

McCain Hopes New Ship Will Be Better Than $13 Billion Boondoggle

U.S. Navy photo/Spc. Daniel M. Young/Released

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Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain is “cautiously optimistic” that the Navy’s new frigate will meet the Navy’s standards after criticizing the Littoral Combat Ship.

“I am cautiously optimistic regarding the request for information on a new Frigate program that the Navy released,” McCain said in a statement Tuesday following a Navy request for industry shipbuilders.

The Navy requested information from U.S. ship manufacturers Monday, seeking cost and feasibility information to eventually award a contract for the new frigate in 2020.

“This new Frigate must be more capable than the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program, with minor modifications,” McCain said.

McCain has criticized the LCS ships for years, slamming the program for wasting billions of dollars to produce 26 ships that have “demonstrated next-to-no combat capability.” (RELATED: McCain Calls Out $13 Billion Wasted On Ships That Don’t Work)

Many of the LCS ships that have been delivered to the Navy over the past few years suffered testing delays and breakdowns, though some of the issues were due to crew errors. (RELATED: Second Navy Combat Ship Goes Down Because Someone Forgot To Check The Oil)

The technical requirements in the information request looks promising, according to McCain. One issue critics raised about the LCS is that it did not capabilities to substantially help air operations.

“The new Frigate’s ability to perform local area air defense for convoys of ships would provide a necessary and clear capability improvement over the LCS program,” McCain said in the statement. “I look forward to learning more about the new Frigate requirements and acquisition strategy, including how the Navy will deliver on time and on budget.”

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