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Top News Links: Tuesday, March 19

Littoral combat ship program in budget jeopardy?

Defense News reports that after 2015 it's unlikely U.S. Navy will keep both the tri-hulled Independence-class LCS ships being built at Austal USA in Mobile and the single-hull Freedom-class built by Lockheed Martin.  — Defense News

LCS study contract awarded to Austal

Austal USA has been awarded an additional $19.9 million from the Department of Defense to assess engineering and production challenges and cost issues on littoral combat ship project. — Naval Today

Russell first, Lee second in population growth

New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show Russell leading the state in population growth at 5.1 percent last year, followed by Lee County with 2.6 percent. — Opelika-Auburn News

Airbus wins $24 billion order from Indonesian airline

Lion Air, a low-cost Indonesian carrier, has ordered 234 of Airbus' single-aisle jets, the kind that will be assembled in Mobile beginning in 2015; the $24 billion order is the largest ever for Airbus. — New York Times

Mysterious realm of health care costs

Most states come up short in requiring cost comparison information for health care consumers. — Forbes

Alabama among the "F" states for health care cost transparency in nationwide study. — Health Care Incentives

MJ Harris completes medical center project

Birmingham-based MJ Harris Construction Services LLC recently completed construction of a $119 million, 450,000-square-foot Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center in Missouri, the largest project ever for MJ Harris. — MJ Harris PR

White-Spunner completes Mississippi storm shelters

Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction has completed work on three community storm shelters in coastal Jackson County, Miss., each able to accommodate 500 or more people and withstand 200 mph winds. — White-Spunner PR

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