FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 17, 2009
Contact: Jake Rubin
KAGEN, STUPAK ADVOCATE FOR MARINETTE MARINE AS
NAVY RESTRUCTURES LCS PROGRAM
(WASHINGTON, DC) U.S. Congressmen Steve Kagen, M.D. (D-Appleton) and Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) announced they are continuing to advocate on behalf of Marinette Marine as the United States Navy works to restructure its Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. The Navy announced it would be cancelling a plan to procure three LCS ships in Fiscal Year 2010, a contract Marinette Marine bid on. The Navy intends to continue with construction and delivery of the USS Fort Worth, or LCS-3, currently being built at Marinette Marine.
“I am standing up for the workers at Marinette Marine,” said Kagen. “I spoke with the Secretary of the Navy today and urged him to continue the LCS program and their relationship with Marinette Marine. Shipbuilding is the backbone of the economy in Marinette and throughout our community. These workers have built great ships for generations. I am confident that they can compete against any other shipbuilder out there on a level playing field and we are working hard to create the jobs that will sustain this area for generations to come.”
“I have spoken with the Assistant Secretary of Navy and will continue to work to ensure Marinette Marine can preserve its production capability and the jobs that are so critical to the communities of not only Menominee and Marinette but those all across Northern Michigan that produce parts and material for the LCS program,” Stupak said. “While I understand and support the Navy’s goal of bringing down the cost to taxpayers, Marinette Marine has been an integral part of the LCS program and I am committed to ensuring that it maintains that status under the new program laid out by the Navy.”
Upon announcing its cancellation of the existing FY10 solicitation, the Navy stated it intends to open a new solicitation in the next few months taking a one-design, one-shipyard approach. The winner of the bid will be awarded the FY10 ships and will be provided an option to build two additional ships per year from FY11 to FY14, for a total of 10 ships. That shipyard will benefit from a stable order quantity, training and production efficiencies to drive down costs. Both Marinette Marine and Bollinger Shipyards in Louisiana will have the opportunity to submit proposals for the FY10 ships under the new solicitation.
To sustain competition through the life of the program, the Navy will provide a Technical Data Package so that a second shipyard would be able to build one ship in FY12, with options for up to four additional ships through FY14. This system allows for two ship builders to be in constant competition for a single LCS design and a government-provided combat system. The Navy remains committed to a 55 ship LCS program.
Kagen and Stupak will continue to work with Navy officials and advocate on behalf of Marinette Marine as the process continues.