House approves funding to build two more LCS

The USS Milwaukee, the U.S. Navy's fifth littoral combat ship, was built at Marinette Marine and launched into the Menominee River, Dec. 18, 2013. (WLUK)

WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives approved funding on Wednesday for Marinette Marine to build two Littoral Combat Ships next year.

Marinette Marine has a Department of Defense contract to build four LCS ships; however, only two have been given the green light.

Funding to purchase supplies to build the other two was removed from the House appropriations bill that was presented to lawmakers Wednesday.

The ships built in Marinette and by another company in Alabama have faced scrutiny in the past. Even Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has expressed reservations about its cost, design, construction, and mission effectiveness.

Republican Congressman Reid Ribble of Northeast Wisconsin is pleased the program will continue.

“It's certainly a partial win because at one point they were talking about actually ending the program immediately. And not funding any additional construction... so it was a little disappointing to see but to get the two ships we're going to take it,” said Ribble in a phone interview with FOX 11.

Ribble is confident the remaining two ships in the contract will eventually be approved.

About 2,000 jobs in Marinette are directly linked to the LCS program.