Littoral ships too heavy?

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) – A new federal audit says four of six ships that are part of the new class of vessels being developed for the U.S. Navy are too heavy and that some areas of performance have been affected.

The Press-Gazette Media says a U.S. Government Accountability Office report says USS Freedom hasn’t been able to reach the distance and speed requirement of 3,500 nautical mile range at 14 knots.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin says the Freedom-class littoral combat ships meet weight requirements when delivered to the U.S. Navy.

The USS Freedom, and similar ships, are being built for Lockheed Martin at Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette. Another design of the ship is being built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.

The ships are designed to perform minesweeping and anti-submarine warfare, among other missions.