How the Navy Screwed Up Its Warship of the Future

Why is the US Navy's ultra-modern Littoral Combat Ship a failure after five years? Wired's David Axe has the answer.

The Littoral Combat Ship was supposed to be a light, disposable ship that could operate on the coastal waters where most modern naval fighting happens. It was going to change the fleet from lead-footed bruisers into a collection of fast-acting commando ships that could re-outfit on the fly. In practice, "instead of compact, brute-simple coastal brawlers" we got "over-inflated, gas-guzzling, gutless ships dependent on ultrahigh-tech gizmos." Not good.

Navy brass couldn't or wouldn't settle on what they wanted the ship to be, and it ended up drowned in a morass of half-realized ambitions. [Wired]