The New York Times published a chart last week of the Pentagon’s biggest boondoggles.
I wrote about the $135 billion we've spent on ballistic missile defense. Today let's consider the littoral combat ship, named the Sea Fighter.
The littoral region of a sea or lake is the costal area, and it seemed like a good idea to build 55 shallow-draft vessels to fight in costal waters. They were budgeted at $220 million apiece, but now the first ten ships being built are coming in at $650 million each.
Since 2005 we've spent $8 billion and expect to spend an additional $30 billion. I note that that's New York Times math. My arithmetic, multiplying 55 ships by the cost-overrun estimate of $650 million is a mere $35 and three-quarts billion. NYT may be factoring in more cost overruns, plus, of course, maintenance, training and parts contracts.
The Times notes that the boats are made of aluminum and are flammable. John McCain thinks they are neither operationally effective nor reliable. And the boats made the Government Accountability Office boondoggle list.