Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) and U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) announced today that the U.S. Navy awarded contracts to Bath Iron Works to build two new DDG-51 destroyers.
The first ship will be in the Flight IIA configuration, and the second will be in the Flight III configuration. The Flight III ship will incorporate the SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) and upgrade the electrical power and cooling capacity plus additional associated changes.
“These contracts to construct two new DDG-51 class destroyers in Bath demonstrates the Navy’s commitment to BIW and its confidence in the highly skilled, hard-working employees at the shipyard. There is no workforce in the world better positioned to build these ships,” said Senators Collins and King and Representative Pingree in a joint statement. “As the workhorses of the Navy, destroyers’ ability to deliver capability and presence has been demonstrated many times over. These ships will strengthen our naval fleet and allow the Navy to promote stability and security in the face of proliferating threats around the globe.”
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins secured the $433 million in additional DDG-51 funding in the Defense Appropriations bill that became law in May 2017. The funding builds on the $1 billion Senator Collins secured toward the construction of an additional DDG-51 destroyer in 2015. One of the ship contracts awarded today to BIW is a direct result of that funding. The additional destroyer was included on the Navy’s list of unmet requirements.
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator King worked to authorize more than $5.62 billion for the Navy destroyer programs in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including more than $5 billion for the procurement of three DDG-51 Arleigh Burke destroyers in fiscal year 2018 that Bath Iron Works can compete to build. He also helped secure authorization of $90.5 million for the continued production of DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers, all of which are built at Bath. The Senate passed the 2018 NDAA earlier in September by a vote of 89-8.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Pingree has worked with her colleagues over the past several years to advocate for the funding for the DDG-51 class destroyer program in the House passed bills. In particular, she has educated her House colleagues about the importance of accepting the funding included by Maine’s Senators in the Senate FY16 bill to provide an additional DDG-51 destroyer. She was successful in her efforts in June of this year to secure language in the FY18 Department of Defense Appropriations bill to clarify the intent of the Congress on the construction of the additional DDG-51.
Because the Navy expects to release a competitive solicitation for additional DDG 51 class ships in the Flight III configuration in future years, the contract award amount is considered source selection sensitive information and is not being made public at this time.
At present, the Navy has 280 deployable battle force ships, well short of the new goal set by the Navy in December for 355 ships.