A Bath Iron Works destroyer travels past Fort Popham. Courtesy of Bath Iron Works

A U.S. Senate committee has authorized $1.43 billion in funding for a new Bath Iron Works destroyer ahead of the 2025 budget.

In the bipartisan “Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act,” a Senate committee allotted $1.43 billion to BIW, a Bath shipbuilding company that constructs destroyers for the Navy, to build an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Sen. Angus King, one of the backers of the funding, said the legislation will support Maine communities and help shipyards such as BIW continue to build and maintain the Navy.

The Navy currently has over 70 destroyers active in its fleets across the globe, according to its website.

King told The Times Record that the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which he is a member, authorized the funding in a series of amendments to the budget submitted by President Joe Biden. The original budget only included two destroyers, which would have been built at Ingalls Shipbuilding, a Mississippi competitor of BIW, King said. At King’s request, the amendments included an additional ship for Bath.

“We’re optimistic, because the amendment, which provided the funding for the ship, found other places in the budget to reduce costs in order to have a zero impact on what they call the ‘top line’ of the budget, so we didn’t break the budget cap,” King said, noting that the funding still had a few more approval steps to go in the budget process.

The pending destroyer funding is just a small drop in the over $800 billion dollar bill. The package includes various Maine initiatives, including support for veterans and an approach to tracking traumatic brain injuries in the military, a condition that Lewiston mass shooter Robert Carr developed after military service, according to the Portland Press Herald. King considers the funding beneficial to hometown businesses such as BIW and critical for national security.


The approval comes as the U.S. Navy faces what the Associated Press reports is the “most intense combat since World War II.”

A U.S.-led campaign in the Red Sea has escalated amid growing conflict in the Middle East, as Houthi rebels — a political and military organization that grew out of Yemen in the 1990s — engages in sea attacks nearly every day, according to the Associated Press.

“This [funding is] a recognition that the DDGs are the workhorse of the Navy, and a Bath-built DDG, for example, is doing the lion’s share of the defense work in the Red Sea right now shooting down those Houthi missiles,” King said. “But if you look around the world, DDGs are deployed everywhere and are a very critical part of our deterrent strategy and our national security policy because of their capabilities both in terms of detecting threats but also confronting threats.”

The authorization must next be reviewed by the Senate before it goes to the president and the Appropriations Committee to spend the funding.

Bath Iron Works declined to comment on the pending legislation.

The Times Record reporter Paul Bagnall contributed to this report.

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