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Marinette Marine celebrates keel-laying of future USS Detroit


MARINETTE, WI (WTAQ) - Marinette Marine held a keel laying ceremony for the littoral combat ship USS Detroit on Thursday.

It's the second in the line of production as part of a ten ship Navy contract.

However, talks of defense cuts and the fiscal cliff, leave unanswered questions on what it means for the ship builder.

Michigan Senator Mark Levin was on hand for the ceremony and he's confident the money will be there.

"The savings are determined by the fact that we had multi-year contracts. These savings will evaporate, be lost, unless the appropriations follow," Levin said. "So you can be 99.9 percent sure that the appropriations will be there."

Levin is the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which oversees the Department of Defense and its spending.

The future USS Detroit will call Marinette Marine its home for another few years. It's expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2015.

Once complete, the Detroit will join the USS Fort Worth , another Marinette Marine-built LCS, at a port in San Diego.

The first littoral combat ship, USS Milwaukee, is also under construction. Work is already underway on Marinette Marine's next two ships -- the Little Rock and Sioux City.