Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that Bath Iron Works will build the Navy’s first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (DDG-51). This DDG-51 Flight III guided missile destroyer will incorporate new technologies, including a powerful new radar called the SPY-6, also referred to as the Air and Missile Defense Radar, which significantly enhances a ship’s ability to detect air and surface targets as well as ever-proliferating ballistic missile threats.
“The hardworking men and women of Bath Iron Works deliver the highest quality ships for our nation’s sailors. There is no workforce in the world better positioned to build the first of the Navy’s upgraded destroyers, which will help ensure that the strength of our Navy’s capabilities remain unrivaled," said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “Destroyers are the workhorses of the Navy, delivering capability and presence that have been demonstrated many times during the past year alone. With countless threats across the globe, the value and importance of our naval assets to our security and stability have never been greater."
Last year, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator King obtained the authorization for the ship, and Senator Collins, as a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee secured $1 billion in funding, about two-thirds of the cost, toward the construction of this additional destroyer. In 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.
Senator Collins is a senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, and Senator King is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.