The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Jason Dunham (DDG 109) is translated from the Land Level Transfer Facility at Bath Iron Works into the floating dry dock after its christening ceremony in preparation for float-off later in the day, in this 2009 photo. MICHAEL C. NUTTER, GENERAL DYNAMICS

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Jason Dunham (DDG 109) is translated from the Land Level Transfer Facility at Bath Iron Works into the floating dry dock after its christening ceremony in preparation for float-off later in the day, in this 2009 photo. MICHAEL C. NUTTER, GENERAL DYNAMICS

BATH

The U.S. Navy has awarded Bath Iron Works $644 million for the design and construction of the Fiscal Year 2016 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer under contract at the shipyard. 

According to a press release issued by BIW, the $644.3 million contract modification fully funds the ship, which was awarded as part of a multi-year competition for DDG 51 class destroyers awarded in 2013. The total value of the five-ship contract is $3.4 billion. 

The ship is the fourth of five DDG 51 ships under contract with General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, which employs roughly 6,100 people and is a business unit of General Dynamics.

Fred Harris, President of BIW, said: “This funding will allow us to continue our efforts associated with planning and construction of DDG 124. The men and women of Bath Iron Works are working hard to continuously improve our processes as we contribute to the U.S. Navy’s important shipbuilding programs.”

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King announced the funding for DDG-51 to be built at BIW along with $2.2 billion in program savings for the Navy. 

In fiscal year (FY) 2012, Collins led the fight for a DDG-51 program multi-year procurement strategy, which she argued could reap significant savings for the taxpayer, according to a joint press release from her and King. The contract has also allowed BIW and other shipbuilders and equipment manufacturers to plan future workloads more efficiently.

“We have long encouraged the Navy to pursue multi-year procurement contracts for DDG-51 destroyers. These contracts are among the most effective tools in helping to keep costs low and our Navy strong,” said Collins and King in a joint statement. “We are pleased to announce that the projected savings from this procurement strategy is an impressive $2.2 billion.”

The multi-year procurement strategy also provides much needed security and stability for BIW’s shipyard workers. 

“This announcement is welcome news for the hardworking men and women of Bath Iron Works,” the senators said. “The dedicated workforce of BIW delivers the highest quality ships for our nation’s sailors making these workers an invaluable asset to preserving our national security.”

Collins is a senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, and King is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. This past year, the two secured $1 billion in the FY 2016 omnibus appropriations bill signed into law last December to provide funding toward the construction of an additional DDG-51, adding to those previously funded in the multi-year contract.

The Navy listed the remaining $433 million needed to fully procure this additional ship as the No. 2 priority on its FY 2017 Unfunded Priorities List.

“With countless threats across the globe, the value and importance of our naval assets to security and stability have never been greater,” King and Collins said. “We will continue to work closely with the Administration to preserve the strength and combat capabilities of our Navy.”

There are currently four DDG 51 destroyers in production at Bath Iron Works: Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) and Carl M. Levin (DDG 120).

The Navy has named DDG 124 the Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., after a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer who received the Medal of Honor for valor during the Vietnam War. Barnum served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Reserve Affairs and as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is a multi-mission combatant that offers defense against a wide range of threats, including ballistic missiles. It operates in support of carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups, providing a complete array of anti-submarine, anti-air and anti-surface capabilities.

Designed for survivability, the ships incorporate all-steel construction and have gas turbine propulsion. The ships use the AEGIS combat system, the Vertical Launching System, an advanced anti-submarine system, two embarked SH-60 helicopters, advanced anti-aircraft missiles and Tomahawk anti-ship and land-attack missiles.

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