It is clear that the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program cannot live up to expectations. Yet the surface Navy still badly needs low-end ships for littoral and maritime-security missions.
Since the concept phase of the LCS program, supporters and detractors alike have argued for or against the ship class. Recently, however, the debate has shifted away from pundits to official U.S. government assessors, with arguably damning conclusions about the ships. Navy leaders espousing the virtues of LCS-1 and -2 are increasingly in the minority amid a rapidly building case for the program’s dramatic restructuring—or demise. Instead of muddling forward to an almost certainly marginal outcome, the Navy should cancel the LCS program and acquire a proven single-mission hull.