Marinette Marine Wins Navy Contract
Marinette Marine and defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. have been awarded a U.S. Navy contract to build another combat ship similar to the USS Freedom launched last fall.
Congress approved $1.02 billion for the Navy to purchase two littoral combat ships for fiscal-year 2009 that runs through September. The Navy has budgeted for three more of the ships - designed for use in shallow, coastal waters - in 2010 and has said it eventually wants about 55 of them.
Last fall, Marinette launched Freedom, the first of a new class of speedy, agile Navy ships. Built in partnership with Lockheed Martin, the $550 million ship was meant to be the first of a fleet of similar vessels. The ship will be used within 200 miles of shorelines to neutralize pirates, mines and other threats. The key feature is the ability to switch quickly from one combat mode to another. For example, the ship may transform from a mine- or submarine-hunter to a surface war vessel. Littoral combat ships require only 40 crewmembers, including just three people to operate the ship from the bridge.
The ship, to be named USS Fort Worth, is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy by December 31, 2012.
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