Bath Iron Works awarded $212 million contract for additional work on destroyer

The Bath Iron Works-built USS Michael Murphy, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, left Bath in September 2012 and was commissioned in October 2012.
The Bath Iron Works-built USS Michael Murphy, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, left Bath in September 2012 and was commissioned in October 2012.
Posted Aug. 02, 2013, at 6:14 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 02, 2013, at 6:34 p.m.

BATH, Maine — Bath Iron Works has been awarded a $212 million contract by the U.S. Navy for more work on the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, one of three DDG-1000 series stealth destroyers being built at the Bath shipyard.

“This contract will provide significant and important work for BIW,” Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King said in a joint statement Friday afternoon. “BIW engineers and workers are designing and building one of the most complex ships in the world, and the three destroyers Bath is currently building will be invaluable assets to U.S. national security and the Navy’s fleet.”

Three of the Zumwalt-class DDG 1000s, stealth destroyers that the Navy since has discontinued because of their cost, are being worked on at BIW. But BIW competitor Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi built the deckhouses for the first two stealth destroyers, the DDG 1000, the future USS Zumwalt, which is nearing completion; and the DDG 1001, the future USS Michael Mansoor, due in late 2014 or 2015.

The deckhouses for the first two Zumwalts were built of composite, but the BIW-built deckhouse for the DDG 1002, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, will be built of steel, BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini said Friday.

“What this means to us is that these critical components for the 1002 are going to help us maintain our highly skilled and specialized engineering and design workforce, and [the contract modification] is providing additional stability to our manufacturing workload,” he said. “Obviously we’re very happy to have been selected to do this work, and it’s important that we do it well.”

The contract modification comes only two months after BIW received what the company called earlier Friday “a strong message” from the U.S. Navy about its competitiveness.

In June, the Navy awarded BIW contracts to build four — and possibly five — DDG 51 destroyers, and awarded a full five contracts to Ingalls Shipbuilding.

Earlier Friday, BIW announced plans to build a major new facility at the Bath shipyard. In a proposal to the Bath City Council announcing plans for the project, BIW officials wrote, “Although BIW was awarded four ships, the inescapable fact is that BIW was not the winning bidder.” The company said the new facility would allow it to increase efficiency and “improve our competitive position to win future work.”

DeMartini said the DDG 1002 contract modification would not specifically increase hiring at BIW, but noted that the company is hiring in the manufacturing trades as part of a ramp-up in production for the DDG 1000 program.

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