THE ZUMWALT-CLASS, future USS Michael Monsoor passes Fort Popham traveling down the Kennebec River as it heads out to sea for trials in December 2017 in Phippsburg. The annual defense bill recently passed by the Senate provides funding to the tune of $271 million for the Zumwalt-class destroyer program. BIW is the sole shipbuilder of stealthy, advanced destroyers. AP PHOTO/ROBERT F. BUKATY

THE ZUMWALT-CLASS, future USS Michael Monsoor passes Fort Popham traveling down the Kennebec River as it heads out to sea for trials in December 2017 in Phippsburg. The annual defense bill recently passed by the Senate provides funding to the tune of $271 million for the Zumwalt-class destroyer program. BIW is the sole shipbuilder of stealthy, advanced destroyers. AP PHOTO/ROBERT F. BUKATY

BATH

An annual defense bill just passed by the Senate includes key funding for Bath Iron Works, including funding for an additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in 2020 for which the shipyard can bid.

The Senate passed the $716 billion legislation 87-10 vote; it passed the House in a similarly lopsided vote last week.

“This legislation provides essential resources to our military so that it can continue to meet ongoing and emerging threats to our nation and keep the American people secure,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, in a statement. “I am pleased that this bill also supports our men and women in uniform through the largest pay increase in nearly a decade, and it includes provisions that are important to the thousands of Mainers who work in the defense industry. The overwhelming support this legislation received is indicative of the bipartisan commitment to strengthening our national security.”

The legislation authorizes the Navy to procure three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in 2019. BIW is currently bidding on a multi-year contract to build 10 of those destroyers over the next five years. Generally, the destroyers are split evenly between Bath and their main competitor, Huntington Ingalls in Mississippi.

Also included in the bill is $250 million in advanced procurement funds for the Arleigh Burke program. Those funds could be dedicated to procuring a third Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in 2020. While the Navy has requested just two destroyers for that year, Collins has previously stated her desire to have three destroyers procured that year. If a third destroyer is authorized, it would likely be part of the multi-year contract BIW is currently bidding on.

Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers are some of the most heavily armed warships in the Navy.

The bill provides funding to the tune of $271 million for the Zumwalt-class destroyer program. BIW is the sole shipbuilder of stealthy, advanced destroyers.

As originally envisioned, the program would have seen 32 ships of the class constructed. However, cost overruns have meant the quantity has been reduced to three. The final ship of the class, the future Lyndon B. Johnson, is nearing completion at the shipyard.

[email protected]timesrecord.com

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: