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    Subject Term: "Air defenses"

    1 publication with a total of 3 open recommendations including 1 priority recommendation
    Director: Michele Mackin
    Phone: (202) 512-4841

    3 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: To ensure that the Navy has provided a clear direction for the future of the program before committing funding to construct additional ships, Congress should consider, given the uncertainties over the long term about the ship's survivability and lethality and proposed changes to future ships, consider not fully funding the Navy's request for future LCS ships beyond fiscal year 2016, pending the completion and analysis of the final survivability assessments for both variants due in 2018.

    Agency: Congress
    Status: Open

    Comments: Although Congress did not take action on this Matter for Congressional Consideration in the fiscal year 2017 NDAA, we will continue to monitor this matter to see if Congress implements future restrictions prior to the final survivability assessments being completed. The Navy's final survivability assessment report is planned for fiscal year 2018, with DOT&E's assessment to follow.
    Recommendation: To ensure that the Navy has a sound acquisition approach moving forward, the Secretary of Defense should require the Navy to solicit an independent technical assessment from an organization like a ship classification society on the survivability of the Independence variant seaframe and its ability to meet its applicable requirements.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: DOD did not concur with our recommendation advocating an independent technical assessment by a classification society, stating that such an organization could not provide an independent look and was not technically competent to conduct such an evaluation. To fully implement this recommendation, we continue to believe that an independent assessment performed by the American Bureau of Shipping, or some other independent entity with relevant subject matter expertise would be valuable to understanding seaframe performance, which remains a significant uncertainty. Although the Navy has conducted rough water, ship shock, and total ship survivability testing, it has not demonstrated that the ship will achieve survivability requirements. Completion of the final survivability assessment report is anticipated in fiscal year 2018. Further, although the Navy has not completed its analytical reports of the rough water events, both Littoral Combat Ship variants sustained some damage, and the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, has expressed concern with the testing and results from full ship shock trials and total ship survivability testing. An independent technical assessment of the Independence variant's survivability would help solidify the Navy's understanding of the ship's expected performance, and takes on added relevance given that the Navy's plans for a frigate award in fiscal year 2020 may include a downselect decision to a Littoral Combat Ship-based seaframe design. In July 2017, the LCS Program Office indicated that there is no additional information to provide, as the Navy maintains its non-concurrence with this recommendation. We will continue monitoring this recommendation to see if the Navy solicits such an evaluation, given continuing concerns about the ships survivability from the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation.
    Recommendation: To ensure that the program has requirements that are testable and measurable and to improve realism of LCS operational testing, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to investigate resourcing and conducting more operationally stressing SUW mission package testing onboard LCS, to include testing in a clutter environment and diverse weather and tactical scenarios to help ensure that the ships can operate effectively in their intended environment.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD partially concurred with GAO's recommendation, stating it will provide sufficient test resources but does not believe that testing 'every aspect' of weather and tactics is necessary. The Navy has since received DOT&E approval of a partial update to the LCS Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP), which was required before March 2016 by a restriction included in the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2016. According to the department, the update included changes to the scope of SUW mission package testing. The LCS Program Office stated that a full LCS TEMP is expected to be approved by the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the last quarter of fiscal year 2017. OSD approval of the TEMP would likely meet the intent of our recommendation; however, until it is approved, we will monitor the TEMP status and keep this recommendation open.