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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy plans to spend $14.4 billion next fiscal year on building ships, according to the Defense Department.

The funding will go toward a new aircraft carrier, a Virginia-class submarine, an amphibious assault ship, a logistics ship and three Littoral Combat Ships, according to a summary of overall proposed Defense spending for fiscal 2008.

The Navy also plans to continue funding two new DDG destroyers, and an amphibious assault ship, while the Army is helping to pay for a Joint High Speed Vessel, according to the DOD.

The Navy also plans to build two Littoral Combat Ships this fiscal year, according to the Navy.

However, the fiscal 2008 budget figures were put together before the Navy announced last month that due to cost overruns, it was stopping construction on one of the four Littoral Combat Ships now being built, said Rear Adm. Stan Bozin.

USS Freedom, being built by Lockheed Martin, was budgeted at $220 million in 2005, but since then the Navy has budgeted $270 million for the ship, and Lockheed Martin said in January that the project is significantly over budget.

As a result, the Navy temporarily halted work on another Lockheed Littoral Combat Ship that had just begun construction.

Asked if the cost overruns would delay the LCS program, Bozin said, “Right now, that program is getting a lot of review.”

As for now, the Navy budgeted $911 million in the fiscal ’08 budget for three Littoral Combat Ships, but recent events in the program will prompt the Navy to make changes, Bozin said.


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