A U.S. House committee included funding for an additional littoral combat ship Tuesday - one step that could lead to three ships being funded in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, according to U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble.
The House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee endorsed funding for three ships, rather than the two requested by the administration. The ship would cost $385 million.
Construction of the littoral combat ships is split between Marinette Marine and an Alabama shipyard. The program has been controversial in its cost and performance. The Navy is planning to move away from the LCS modual design to a frigate designation, but not until several more LCS have been launched.
"Our first Constitutional duty is to provide for the common defense, and fully funding the LCS program is an integral part of that duty," Ribble said. "With the language that passed out of the House Armed Services Subcommittee, we will fund the construction of three new Littoral Combat Ships, which Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has repeatedly called crucial for the Navy's mission. Some of these new LCS ships will be built in our very own Marinette facilities, and I am extremely proud of the work men and women in our community are doing to help keep America safe."
FOX 11's messages to Marinette Marine and Lockheed Martin - the general contractor - were not immediately returned.