Austin Wright, Politico
12 January 2016
The Navy's director of surface warfare today blasted critics of the Littoral Combat Ship and pleaded for an audience full of industry executives to help him defend the embattled program.
"Yes, there are still naysayers," Rear Adm. Peter Fanta said at the annual Surface Navy Association National Symposium in Northern Virginia. "You know what a lot of those naysayers' problems are? 'You didn't write the stack of reports that was required to build this ship.' Aww.
"You have to help me get the message out," Fanta continued. "There's warfighting capability in this thing. And it's overwhelming even our own submarines and surface ships."
His remarks follow Defense Secretary Ash Carter's decision last month to order the Navy to build just 40 total LCSs - down from a planned 52 - and to select a single supplier by fiscal 2019. The two variants of the ship are now built by contractors Lockheed Martin and Austal USA. Carter's memo chastised the Navy for prioritizing quantity over lethality by buying LCSs rather than ships and weapons with more firepower.
But Fanta today said the LCS would bring important warfighting capability to the fleet.
"The sonar going on LCS will increase our capability multifold against all submarines," he said. "If our submariners are afraid of a continuous active sonar at double-digit miles, what do you think the adversaries' submariners are afraid of?"
The Navy was doing things to make the LCS, which is being redesigned as a frigate, more survivable, Fanta said.