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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Applauds Pentagon Decision to Support Wisconsin Shipbuilding Economy

Secretary Hagel Announces Plan to Sustain Original Production Plan for a 52 Ship Class

Washington D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin applauded Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s announcement that the Pentagon has decided to select a modified Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) as the Navy’s next small surface combatant (SSC).

“I fought hard to sustain the original production plan for a 52 ship class and I applaud Secretary Hagel’s announcement to do just that,” Senator Baldwin said. “This is great news for Wisconsin’s shipbuilding industry because there will be no production break and this action will prevent disruption to the Marinette Marine – Lockheed Martin workforce.”

The LCS program was previously truncated to 32 ships, down from the originally planned 52 ship class. The Navy now plans to acquire 20 new SSCs, sustaining the original production plan for a 52 ship class of SSCs. Importantly, according to Navy acquisition plans, there will be no production break between the last LCS and the first new SSC. This will prevent disruptions to the Marinette Marine-Lockheed Martin workforce.

“Selecting a modified LCS as the follow-on small surface combatant – thereby leveraging lessons learned and investments made – is the best option for meeting the Navy’s requirements in a timely and affordable matter.  Furthermore, just as the Marinette – Lockheed team builds a quality and affordable ship in the LCS, I am confident that they will do the same with a modified LCS, including incorporating new offensive and defensive capabilities,” Baldwin said.