The U.S. Navy has awarded Bath Iron Works a ship maintenance and modernization contract worth up to $100 million.
As the “planning yard” for the Navy’s two classes of littoral combat ships, BIW will be responsible for handling on-board and in-shore maintenance, ship alteration design and other material support for the ships. The initial amount awarded to BIW was $9.8 million but the contract total would rise to $100.4 million if all options are exercised, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
BIW, which is owned by General Dynamics, will partner with other defense contractors on the project.
“We are pleased for the opportunity to apply our planning yard experience in support of the Navy’s LCS program,” BIW President Fred Harris said in a statement. “We have been working hard to make every aspect of our business more affordable, enabling us to successfully compete for contracts like this. This award is a result of that work and we look forward to working with our industry partners to meet the needs of our U.S. Navy customer.”
The littoral combat ship, or LCS, is a smaller warship designed to operate close to shore in shallower waters located in what is known as the “littoral zone.” The Navy has two different LCS designs – the Freedom class and the trimaran Independence class – and has commissioned three ships so far. However, concerns have surfaced about the operational capabilities of the ships as well as their ability to fend off or survive attacks.