After 9/11, the US Navy launched a massive program to build a "Littoral Combat Ship" that could fight submarines, clear underwater mines, and perform other tasks close to shore, because, um... you never know where the terrorists might be, with snorkels. Astoundingly, it appears more and more like this boondoggle has become—you guessed it—a boondoggle.
A decade into this... important national safety water boat program, we can reflect that everything has not gone smoothly. "The ship has been beset by troubles, including cracks and corrosion, its price has doubled since 2005 to $440 million per vessel," Bloomberg reports. But minor problems like those can be fixed by the usual US military method of papering over the cracks with hundred-dollar bills, then sealing them all together with a glue made of melted Yemeni civilians. What's harder to accept are these new reports that the Littoral Combat Ships, which have cost the American taxpayer $37 billion, are basically floating death traps:
Nothing has haunted the LCS more than the perception that both variants are too lightly armed and may not survive an enemy attack. The Pentagon's chief weapons tester has cited flaws with the ship's guns and concluded that its helicopter isn't powerful enough to tow mine-hunting equipment.
The ship "is not expected to be survivable in that it is not expected to maintain mission capability after taking a significant hit in a hostile combat environment," Michael Gilmore, the weapons tester, said in a January report.
Haha, the United States Navy has spent $37 billion building a military boat and it turns out it doesn't have enough guns. Well, shit. I mean, it's a boat. Who would anticipate someone shooting at it? That's crazy.
Rufus, you got any shotguns back there these fellas can take out on a boat?
[Bloomberg. Photo: AP]