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November 4, 2010

Two shipyard LCS award no big problem for Congress

Greenbay, Wis., TV station NBC26 reports Senator Herb Kohl (D.Wis) as saying today that it won't take additional funding - just approval by Congress to change the contract-awarding process - for the Navy to offer two contracts at once for construction of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

"The cost that was legislated and passed in Congress is not increased, but they have to change the legislation to say the award will be made to two firms instead of one, which is a minor kind of change," Kohl said. "And that's why we don't have any great concerns about it being done."

Currently, Wisconsin shipbuilder Marinette Marine and its partner, Lockheed Martin Corp., are competing against Alabama shipbuilder Austal USA and its partner, General Dynamics Corp., for an all-or-nothing contract for ten ships. Yesterday Secretary of the Navy told lawmakers he would like to award each of the two LCS teams a ten ship contract.

Wisconsin's other U.S. Senator, Russ Feingold (D.Wis.) lost his bid for re-election, but he took time to issue this statement:

"I am pleased the Navy would like to purchase more ships from Marinette Marine. This is good news for northeastern Wisconsin and I was proud to support Marinette Marine in its bid to build these ships.

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