BATH, Maine — Bath Iron Works has received an $18 million modification to the contract for the first DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer.
The modification — part of the original $3.1 billion contract, according to Chris Johnson, a public affairs officer at Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. — will allow work to continue on the three DDG-1000 ships, BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini said Wednesday. The company received notification of the modification Tuesday.
The funds will allow Bath Iron Works to support construction and maintenance of the ship design even as that design changes as the Navy learns more about its needs.
Because the ships are highly complex, DeMartini said, “The design is not a static body of information.”
“We learn things as we build the ship that become incorporated into the design to facilitate construction of the next ships in the class,” he said. “In addition, the Navy may want to make changes to the ship based on its developing needs, and the services we provide help to assess the extent of these changes and then ultimately adjust the design as the Navy directs us.
“This modification enables us to keep our skilled engineers and designers who are currently supporting the DDG-1000 program fully engaged and providing high-quality technical services to the Navy for this important program,” DeMartini said.
The first destroyer in the DDG-1000 class, the future USS Zumwalt, is scheduled to be completed in 2015.
Johnson said that mandated federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, will not affect the contract modification because “the Navy and the government still have to spend money, still have contract obligations and still have to pay for systems. [Sequestration] doesn’t mean all money stops flowing to contractors.”