LCS 2 USS Independence. Credit: Paul McLeary
Bettina Chavanne reports:
The U.S. Navy has pushed its contract award date for the Littoral Combat Ship again, now announcing it will make its source selection “as expeditiously as practicable.”
The Navy has requested bidders to hand in Final Proposal Revisions (FPR) by September, and that those proposals “remain valid for 90 days.” That extension allows the Navy an additional three months to continue conversations with industry before making a firm decision.
The Navy’s announcement follows criticism from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) that the service’s September source selection date left Congress with little time to fully analyze the acquisition plan. “A shortage of time for formal congressional review and consideration would be a potential oversight issue for Congress for any large weapon acquisition program, but this might be especially the case for the LCS program, because it would not be the first time that the Navy has put Congress in the position of having to make a significant decision about the LCS program with little or no opportunity for formal congressional review and consideration,” the CRS notes in its June report. (Aerospace DAILY, Aug. 20).
The Navy issued a statement Monday saying it is proceeding with the process “diligently, thoroughly and consistently with its source-selection plan and applicable law and regulations.”