Bath Iron Works Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

Bath Iron Works will build two more destroyers for the U.S. Navy, according to a deal announced Thursday by Maine’s congressional delegation.

The agreement to have the Maine shipyard build two more Arleigh Burke-class destroyers addresses a key workload question that caused concerns for management and leaders of the unions that represent more than 5,000 people who work in the shipyard.

Dirk Lesko, president of Bath Iron Works, told the Associated Press that the contracts “help to stabilize our business.” He thanked Maine’s congressional delegation and the Navy secretary for their efforts and leadership.

The delegation’s announcement of the agreement comes a day before Navy Secretary Richard Spencer is scheduled to make his first visit to the shipyard.

“These contracts to construct two new DDG-51 class destroyers in Bath demonstrate the Navy’s commitment to BIW and its confidence in the highly skilled, hard-working employees at the shipyard. There is no workforce in the world better positioned to build these ships,” said U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree in a joint statement.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin touted an amendment he and Pingree helped attach to the House defense bill as playing a key role in enabling the shipyard to complete negotiations to build the vessels.

There are currently four destroyers in the same class that are in production at Bath Iron Works: Thomas Hudner, Daniel Inouye, Carl Levin and John Basilone.

One of the new ships will be named the Louis H. Wilson Jr. after the late U.S. Marine Corps commandant and Medal of Honor recipient for valor in World War II.

Cost figures for the contracts were not immediately available.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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