In recent years, every branch of the armed forces has had a favored program come under intense scrutiny. Whether it was the Army’s Future Combat System, the Air Force’s F-22, the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, or the tri-service Joint Strike Fighter, each faced tough questions concerning its cost, safety, role, or need.
The Navy has not been immune to this. While some have taken issue with the Ford-class carriers or the DDG-1000, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was often the favorite target. The program has taken its share of big hits—including in the pages of Proceedings—since the first two ships were delivered to the Fleet. In this issue, the LCS returns fire. Rear Admiral Tom Rowden, Director of Surface Warfare, sets out to put the perceived problems with the LCS in context. “It is time to take a fix and communicate the way ahead,” he writes, hoping that the virtues of the ships’ designs will convince their critics that these are the vessels best suited for future threats.