- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) - As Marinette Marine prepares to launch its latest littoral combat ship, an official from a defense contractor said construction of future ships in the program might provide work in the city through 2030.

Joe North, vice president of littoral ships and systems for Lockheed Martin, discussed on Thursday the state of the littoral combat ship program ahead of the USS Little Rock’s launch on Saturday. The latest vessel is the third of a 10-ship contract between Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy, WLUK-TV (https://bit.ly/1fPKfs2 ) reported

All of the work is being done at Marinette Marine, where it will continue with the current contracts into 2022, North said. About 1,500 Marinette Marine workers currently are involved in the program, along with another 500 subcontractors who are on site on any given day.

But the companies hope to contract another six to 10 ships, which could bring work to Marinette for 15 more years, North said.

Discussions are continuing between the Navy and more than 20 countries that may be interested in purchasing their own versions of the littoral combat ships, North said. Although so contracts have been signed, such deals also could provide additional work in Marinette.

Marinette Marine currently is working on seven ships that are all in various stages of construction.

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Information from: WLUK-TV, https://www.fox11online.com

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