Total program cost: $37.4 billion
A littoral combat ship operates in areas close to the seashore. Its purpose is to work in conjunction with the mammoth vessels of the Navy's Aegis Fleet, which can't exactly be parked next to the beach. The first ship, the USS Freedom, was commissioned in 2008.
"This basically is a frigate-sized ship intended to operate in shallow waters," Wheeler said in an interview. He noted that the cost of the program has more than doubled since it was first proposed.