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Report: USS Freedom, other littoral ships too heavy

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - A new federal audit shows that four out of six Navy littoral combat ships built in Wisconsin and Alabama are too heavy -- and it might affect the ships' performance.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office said the USS Freedom, made at Marinette Marine, did not meet its distance and speed requirements for a range of 3,500 nautical miles at 14 knots.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette said two other boats built in Marinette met their weight requirements.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin said the Freedom class of littoral ships met its weight standards upon delivery -- and the firm submitted all of its weight reports to the Navy as its contract required.

The Freedom and similar ships are being built in Marinette for Lockheed Martin. Another design is being constructed at the Austal USA plant in Mobile Alabama.

The audit said 3 ships at Mobile were also too heavy.

The boats are supposed to carry out missions like mine-sweeping, and anti-submarine warfare.

The littoral combat ships have come under scrutiny before. President Obama has proposed reducing the Navy's orders for it. Next year's shipments would be cut from 4 to 3.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)