Planned cuts would hit littoral ship program

CREATED Feb. 24, 2014

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says he is seeking cuts to a Navy combat ship program that is linked with thousands of jobs in Wisconsin.
   
Hagel said Monday that he plans to limit an order of littoral combat ships to 32 total vessels. That's 20 fewer than had been planned. The ships are built in Marinette, Wis., and Mobile, Ala. About 2,000 jobs in Wisconsin are linked to the ships.
   
Hagel says he's concerned the Navy is relying too heavily on the littoral combat ships. He says the Navy needs to examine whether they have the capabilities to survive against modern adversaries.
   
Local lawmakers have resisted cuts. Congress would have to approve the proposed cuts in its budget process and President Barack Obama is expected to submit his budget next week.