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Navy dings company over littoral ship quality control

8 Lockheed Martin ships slate for Naval Station Mayport

The USS Independence of the General Dynamics Independence Class andUSS Freedom of the Lockheed Martin Freedom Class littoral combat ships.
The USS Independence of the General Dynamics Independence Class andUSS Freedom of the Lockheed Martin Freedom Class littoral combat ships. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Jan Shultis)

The company whose Littoral Combat Ships are expected to be brought to Naval Station Mayport is under orders from the U.S. Navy to correct quality control failures in building its version of the LCS, according to a Bloomberg report.

The issues with Lockheed Martin Corp. have delayed deliveries and resulted in three citations from the service's shipbuilding inspectors, Bloomberg said.

"Corrective Action Requests" were issued in May, June and July of 2015 from the Navy's supervisor of shipbuilding.

The $29 billion program that Defense Secretary Ash Carter has reduced to 40 vessels from 52,  is under close scrutiny by the federal government.

The Littoral Combat Ship, intended for missions such as mine-clearing in shallow coastal waters, has been criticized as too vulnerable to attack in combat, according to the Bloomberg report.

Eight of the ships are slated for Mayport.

Lockheed Martin sent the following statement to News4Jax Wednesday:

"Lockheed Martin is committed to ensuring that all Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships delivered to the Navy are designed and built using the highest quality standards.

Corrective Action Requests are part of a normal Navy-led feedback process to continuously evaluate and optimize shipbuilding processes. Corrective Action Requests do not reflect the final product that is delivered to the Navy. Each of the three ships delivered have met or exceeded Navy specifications for quality and performance prior to acceptance.

We take each Corrective Action Request very seriously as each one identifies manufacturing and training improvements, which our industry team implements, in close coordination with the Navy.

In ramping up for full-rate production, industry invested over $100 million to modernize the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard, hire additional staff and train a new workforce."

For more on this story, go to www.bloomberg.com.