Donít blame Congress for one has to wonder what the Navy was smoking when LCS was evolving into this disaster of an acquisition. Many spoke out and said multi-role Frigates . You own the blue water, you own the brown water (littorals). Be ready to fight a peer enemy on day 1 not day 6. The Navy lost its vision of sea power as a world power.
All what you say is true of Congress but then stupidity and pork was handed to them on silver platter courtesy of The Department of the Navy.
Now to see if the Ford delivers on its promises of lower maintenance and higher sortie rate. Probably not but a telling tale will be if The Navy hides or classifies the maintenance costs as they did for LCS.
Ever read the reports to Congress from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO?) I have read a handful. Full of warnings, cautions, issues Congress should look into, etc. Congress doesn't go by such logic.
Congress bought them beause...
A) They were cheap. Congress cost-capped them at around $500 million each. That's roughly 1/4 what a Burke costs. Then they ordered them in bulk, and exclaimed they were growing the Navy affordably. Looks good at election time.
B) They brought two new shipyards into the (tiny) pool of available defense yards. Marinette and Austal had previously been civilian yards. This added yards to the military side. We only have one which builds carriers (Newport News,) two which build destroyers (Huntington Ingalls and Bath,) and two which build subs (Electric Boat and Newport News.) If we had a major war tomorrow, those yards are all there are for warships. (It ain't like the WWII days...) Getting two more yards into the mix, and all the work/money those yards bring to their districts is "what Congressional politics is all about!" Hey Wisconsin, **I Senator Soandso** got you all that defense work up at Marinette! Vote for Me!!!
C) Add to these two new yards a whole new supply chain of parts, etc. from all around the nation required to have these ships.
THAT'S why Congress voted for them. If you think otherwise, you are as in the dark as a good 99% of this nation.
(Churchill is quoted to have said the best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.)
Because the Navy said they were great platforms and served the needs of the Navy and the Nation. Turns out they were full of it.
Pentagon leadership in every service branch is broken and needs to be shitcanned en masse.