Friday, March 22, 2013

Congressional Pork at sea: LCS- The Porkening continues

As I mentioned last week or so, The US Navy's continuing policy of awarding shipbuiling contracts to the highest bidder located in the same state as CERTAIN congressmen continues to deliver stillborns and abominations that are being called our next generation of warships.

 Take the Zumwalt class of destroyer- an escort ship meant to be zippy and responsive to act as a screening element (AKA missile fodder) to our capital ships- These tiny little toys cost almost as much as the aircraft carriers they're meant to protect, defeating the purpose entirely. This one was so egregiously bad that even congress, who is most unashamed of their enthusiastic 9 months-a-year marathon of masturbating in front of a full-length mirror, couldn't stomach this one and pulled the plug on the program, deciding to invest in a double handful of proven cruisers with superior electronic suites at the same price.

 I have watched with loathing as, predictably, the Littoral Combat Ship (fancy talk for 'destroyer') evolved into an orgy of congressional pork for two shipyards that were faced off against each other like a multi-billion dollar version of "American Idol" where whoever turns in the best ship for the money wins- Well, they both won, and America lost double. The ships have been an unmitigated disaster on wheels... so the Navy ordered more, despite the inability of the vessels in question to have EVER successfully completed a voyage without breakdown. Oh, also, they've been determined to be 'non-survivable' in combat. And, since they're made of aluminum, and prone to horiffic corrosion, we can expect Christmas to come early and often to the shipyards who get these repair contracts. Maybe we can give them to BAE to repair- at least the Brits can build a ship that can go from A-to-B, with allowances for icebergs, of course.

 What pisses me off is that our Navy is shrinking badly- shipbuilding budgets are tight, and while the rest of the world is having a giggle at it, we're trying to  build a cold-war fleet of multi-billion dollar ferry boats that would get crumpled by a bump at the dock. After suffering through failure after failure, the Navy is sending one of these floating abortions to the far east, presumably to make the Chinese feel less threatened... or perhaps some congressmen's kid has the fucking tow contract for whoever has to go and fetch this aluminum white elephant when it has it's inevitable FOURTH power loss in this most recent sea voyage.

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