The Littoral Combat Ship is overpriced and underperforming, yet the Navy continues to support it. It’s time to abandon the LCS and replace it with a comparable vessel that costs the same, but is far more capable. There are several great candidates in other navies, but one we might consider is the Danish-built Iver Huitfeldt–class frigate.
Let’s compare the U.S.-built LCS with the Huitfeldt.
First, the cost: The Navy estimates the price of the LCS at $480 million a copy, with another $100 million each for a mission module. The DOD Selected Acquisition Report puts the LCS at $680 million a ship.1 By comparison, the Danish Navy recently built three Iver Huitfeldt–class frigates for $332 million each, not counting weapons.2 Even if installing weapons doubles the cost of each hull, as the rule of thumb goes, a Huitfeldt would still cost about the same as an LCS.