WASHINGTON – A deal has been struck to build two more Naval guided missile destroyers at Bath Iron Works.

The agreement initially was announced by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who said Tuesday afternoon that she was informed of the deal between the Navy and General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works by Assistant Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley.

BIW and Navy officials confirmed that the agreement is in place, after months of negotiations and concerns by some in Maine about potential defense cutbacks.

BIW already is building the first of the massive destroyers, dubbed DDG-1000. The next two are called DDG-1001 and 1002.

Collins said that the agreement to build the next two ships brings the total value of the work to be done at BIW to more than $3 billion. There are about 5,300 people employed at the shipyard in Bath, with the majority of them working on the DDG-1000.

Collins, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that there have been attempts in the House to cut funding for the destroyers.

“This is incredibly welcome news for Maine and is a testament to the highly skilled, hard-working men and women at Bath Iron Works,” Collins said in a statement.

Stackley said via email that, “The Navy has reached an agreement with General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works for pricing, terms and conditions for DDGs 1001 and 1002. This is an important step in the process to ensure a fixed price contract in line with the Navy’s ‘should cost’ estimates.”

Stackley added that, “While we continue to complete final mechanics of the contract award, we can proceed with funding material and other work to keep 1001 and 1002 on track, until actual contract award before the end of the fiscal year.”

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said that it’s been a “long, hard road” to reaching an agreement to build the second and third destroyers at Bath Iron Works.

“I appreciate the Navy’s careful attention to this matter and am delighted that the Navy has decided to entrust the completion of the DDG-1000 program to the first-class workforce at Bath Iron Works,” Snowe said.