McCain slams Navy shipbuilding in latest Pentagon waste report

U.S. Navy shipbuilding projects have become a target of an oversight report released by U.S. Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Part of an ongoing series of reports dubbed America’s Most Wasted: Indefensible, the report identified $13 billion in wasteful spending across the U.S. Department of Defense.

First on the list of “wasteful defense spending” were the littoral combat ships which, as the report stated, cost the taxpayer $12.4 billion but still possessed no proven combat capability.

“DOD’s development of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is an unfortunate and classic example of acquisition gone awry,” the report stated. “The LCS continues to experience new problems, but it is not a new program. That is why the Navy must not delay in reconciling their aspirations for the LCS with the program’s troubled reality.”

Among other things that made it on the list were $58 million for the navy’s experiments with alternative fuel sources for its Great Green Fleet, $375 million for Missile Defense Agency (MDA) targets that were never used or didn’t work and $1.3 million to research the mating habits of African Giant Pouched rats.

“As our armed forces confront the most diverse and complex array of national security challenges since the end of World War II under extraordinarily constrained fiscal resources, we simply cannot afford to waste our precious defense dollars on unnecessary or poorly performing programs,” said chairman McCain. “This oversight report exposes just a few examples of the wasteful spending at the Pentagon that is so detrimental to our national defense. It has never been more important to eliminate unnecessary defense spending and mismanagement so that we can reinvest savings into improving the training and equipment our warfighters need.”

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