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Mccain Says He’ll Seek to Delay Littoral Combat Ship Purchases

U.S. Senator John McCain said he plans to propose a slowdown in purchases of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, citing a Government Accountability Office report that said the Pentagon is buying vessels faster than it can test their design and performance.

McCain, an Arizona Republican on the Armed Services Committee, told reporters after a Senate hearing today that he will offer the plan as an amendment to the fiscal 2014 defense policy bill when it comes to the Senate floor.

“We’ll be looking at ways of getting better accountability,” McCain said.

Asked whether he had enough support from lawmakers for a pause in the LCS program, McCain said: “I never gauge that, I just do what’s right and we’ll see how it comes out.”

The $34 billion LCS program has faced questions about its designs, firepower, defenses and survivability.

The Navy is buying two versions of the ship. One, with a steel hull, is being made in Marinette, Wisconsin, by a group led by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) A group led by Austal Ltd. (ASB) is building an aluminum trimaran in Mobile, Alabama.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Capaccio in Washington at acapaccio@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bob Drummond at bdrummond@bloomberg.net

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