The U.S. Navy’s LCS program took a hit this week when the secretary of defense ordered the service to limit its purchase to 40 ships and one supplier, Defense News reported Thursday.

The Navy had hoped to source 52 ships from two shipbuilders, buying three ships annually for the next four years. The new directive would cut that annual purchase allotment to one ship, according to Defense News.

The existing LCS program features two different designs — the Freedom class, produced by Lockheed Martin, and the Independence class built by Austal USA. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has asked the Navy to “down-select...production to one variant in FY2019."

Austal launched the 12th Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS), the future Omaha, at its manufacturing facility in Mobile, Ala., on Nov. 20, while earlier this month the Austal-built LCS Jackson was commissioned in Gulfport, Miss. The Navy announced Thursday that the Omaha was to be christened Dec. 19.

Earlier this week, the LCS Milwaukee — a Freedom-class ship built by Lockheed Martin — made news after breaking down less than three weeks into service.

Several Alabama lawmakers with armed forces ties spoke out in opposition to the proposed cuts.

“The United States is threatened by multiple adversaries, from China's efforts to dominate the sea lanes in the South China Sea to Russia's initiatives in the Black Sea through its seizure of Crimea, and to Iran's attempts to choke off lanes into the Persian Gulf,” Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. “Our Navy is at risk across the world and the weak and impotent Obama Administration seeks to further undermine our position with this ill-considered decision.

“Make no mistake about it, from Mobile to Marinette and from San Diego to Jacksonville, the bell has rung, and those in the Pentagon need to hear that this will not stand,” Bradley continued. “Not just for our ship yards but also for our Navy and for the defense of the people of the United States of America.”