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Bill lets Navy proceed with dual LCS buy

Dec. 21, 2010 - 02:46PM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 21, 2010 - 02:46PM  |  
The Navy had intended to choose this year between competing LCS designs from Lockheed Martin and Austal USA, but on Nov. 3 the service revealed its desire to buy 10 more ships of each design - a move that needs Congressional approval. Pictured here is Lockheed's littoral combat ship Freedom.
The Navy had intended to choose this year between competing LCS designs from Lockheed Martin and Austal USA, but on Nov. 3 the service revealed its desire to buy 10 more ships of each design - a move that needs Congressional approval. Pictured here is Lockheed's littoral combat ship Freedom. (MC2 Sharay Bennett / Navy)

With the House's passage of a federal funding bill on Tuesday, the Navy received the necessary congressional permission to buy both versions of the Littoral Combat Ship.

The Senate passed the continuing resolution, 79-16, earlier in the day.

The measure keeps the government running through March 4 at 2010 funding levels.

The Navy had intended to choose this year between competing LCS designs from Lockheed Martin and Austal USA, but on Nov. 3 the service revealed its desire to buy 10 more ships of each design - a move that needed congressional approval.

"Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of the Navy may award a contract or contracts for up to 20 Littoral Combat Ships (LCS)," the resolution reads.

To keep the government running, the House and Senate had to pass a measure by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 21, when the previous resolution was set to expire.

Under the amendment, the Pentagon can continue funding programs included in the 2010 defense appropriations bill at 2010 budget levels through March 4.

By default, this means the continuing resolution also provides funding for a second F-35 Joint Strike Fighter engine. Congress included $430 million for the engine program in the 2010 budget and therefore funding at that level is expected to continue.

Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., incoming Chairman of House Armed Services Committee, also announced Dec. 21 the appointments of subcommittee chairmen for the 112th Congress.

The new subcommittee chairmen for the House Armed Services Committee in the 112th Congress are as follows:

• Air and Land Forces — Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Md.

• Military Personnel — Rep. Joe Wilson, S.C.

• Oversight and Investigations — Rep. Rob Wittman, Va.

• Readiness — Rep. J. Randy Forbes, Va.

• Seapower and Expeditionary Forces — Rep. W. Todd Akin, Mo.

• Strategic Forces — Rep. Michael Turner, Ohio.

• Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities — Rep. Mac Thornberry, Texas.

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