BATH — Bath Iron Works remains in competition for a United States Coast Guard contract that would allow the Maine shipyard to design and build offshore patrol cutters.

U.S. Senators Susan Collins, a senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and Angus King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced Tuesday, that BIW is one of five shipyards left in the competition.

In January, the Coast Guard received design and construction proposals from eight contractors. That field was narrowed Tuesday to five shipyards.

“The Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter contract would be an ideal fit for Bath Iron Works,” Collins and King said in a joint statement. “BIW has the capacity to assemble ships the size and ruggedness of the Offshore Patrol Cutters and the workforce needed to do the job, as well as a track record of designing, building and providing life cycle support for superior quality ships.”

The new generation of ships will feature increased range and endurance, more powerful weapons, a larger flight deck as well as improved communication and surveillance equipment.

Construction of the vessels will start in 2017.