The Business Times

US Navy to buy 3 littoral ships next year instead of 4

Published Tue, Mar 4, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[WASHINGTON] The US Navy will request US$2.1 billion to continue developing the Littoral Combat Ship and buy three of the vessels in fiscal 2015, one fewer than previously planned, according to defence officials.

No decision has been made on which of the two companies building different versions - Lockheed Martin and Austal - will see one of its ships delayed by a year, according to one of the officials, who asked not to be identified before the Pentagon budget, for the year beginning on Oct 1, was sent to Congress yesterday.

The reduced pace of ship purchases underscores the budget constraints facing the Defense Department and may reflect what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week called his "considerable reservations" about the Littoral Combat Ship, a lightly armed vessel designed for missions in shallow coastal waters.

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