Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which she serves, has approved the balance of funding needed for the construction of an additional Arleigh Burke class destroyer (DDG-51) that will be awarded to Bath Iron Works (BIW) later this year. This ship is in addition to the two ships funded in the bill as part of a cost-saving multiyear procurement (MYP) contract to build 10 ships from 2013-2017. This $433 million in new funding is part of the 2017 Defense Appropriations bill that passed the Committee unanimously (30-0) and will be considered by the full Senate next month.
“I worked hard to ensure that the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee heeded the recommendations of the Navy to fully fund this Arleigh Burke class destroyer to be built at BIW,” said Senator Collins.
Last year, as a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins secured $1 billion in funding, about two-thirds of the cost, toward the construction of this additional destroyer. This February, Senators Collins and King sent a letter to Admiral John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, urging the Navy to include the balance of funding needed to complete construction of this ship, which will help fulfill critical naval missions around the world. The Navy subsequently listed the remaining $433 million needed to fully procure this ship as the number two priority on its FY 2017 Unfunded Priorities List.
Assuming this 2017 Defense Appropriations bill becomes law, the ship will be fully funded, allowing BIW to sign a contract with the Navy and begin to buy the long lead time material required to start construction of the DDG-51.
“With countless threats across the globe, the value and importance of our naval assets to security and stability have never been greater,” Senator Collins continued. “Destroyers are the workhorses of the Navy, and there is no workforce better positioned to build this DDG-51 than the men and women of BIW. This investment will help to grow the Navy’s combat capabilities at a time when the Navy fleet is in high demand to protect national security interests worldwide and preserve the security and stability of our country.”
“Senator Collins’ success in securing this funding is a tremendous victory for Maine and for our Navy,” Senator King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said. “The Navy identified the construction of this ship as one of its highest priorities, and the highly-skilled men and women of Bath Iron Works will be able to deliver it. I applaud Senator Collins for her work and will continue to fight alongside her to see that our Navy is strong and that BIW plays a fundamental role in helping it stay that way.”
As of May 2016, the Navy has 274 ships, well short of Combatant Commander requirements of 450. The additional investments in this bill will grow the Navy’s shipbuilding capabilities at a time of growing instability worldwide. The bill provides $3.2 billion in funding for the two DDGs and $272 million for the Zumwalt DDG 1000 program