A Navy team of computer hacking experts found deficiencies when assigned to try to penetrate the network of the USS Freedom, the lead vessel in the $37 billion Littoral Combat Ship programme.
According to Reuters, the navy insists that the problems were not severe enough to prevent an eight-month deployment to Singapore. So far the USS Freedom has seen action on the “war on drugs” and so far the drugs barons have not thought of trying to hack in.
The ship was built by Lockheed Martin with the aim of creating a market for fast, agile and stealthy ships.
But the cyber security vulnerabilities are something that no one appears to want to talk about.
A US Defence Department spokesperson told Reuters that the Pentagon’s chief weapons test agency addressed “information assurance vulnerabilities” for the Littoral Combat Ship in an assessment provided to the Navy. But details of that assessment are classified.
Lockheed insists that the company is working with the Navy to ensure that USS Freedom’s networks are secure.
The scale of the problem becomes clearer when you realise that the US plans to buy 52 of the new LCS warships in coming years.