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    The Inside Story of How the Navy Spent Billions on the “Little Crappy Ship”

    The Inside Story of How the Navy Spent Billions on the “Little Crappy Ship”

    This story was originally published by ProPublica.

    ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

    In July 2016, warships from more than two dozen gathered off the coasts of Hawaii and Southern California to join the United States in the world's largest naval exercise. The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan, South and others sent hundreds of destroyers, aircraft carriers and warplanes. They streamed in long lines across the ocean, symbols of and prestige.

    The Freedom had its own special place within the armada. It was one of a new class of vessels known as littoral combat ships. The U.S. Navy had billed them as technical marvels — small, fast and light, able to combat enemies at sea, hunt mines and sink submarines.

    In reality, the LCS was well on the way to becoming one of the worst boondoggles in the military's long history of buying overpriced and underperforming weapons systems. Two of the $500 million ships had suffered embarrassing breakdowns in previous months. The Freedom's performance during the exercise, showing off its ability to destroy underwater mines, was meant to rejuvenate the ships' record on the world stage. The ship was historically important too; it was the first LCS built, the first in the water, commissioned just eight years prior.

    But like the LCS program's…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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