July 16, 2018
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Navy gives BIW competitor $29.4 million to plan repairs of Maine-built USS Fitzgerald

TORU HANAI | REUTERS
TORU HANAI | REUTERS
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald, damaged by colliding with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel, is seen at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Japan June 18, 2017.
By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

BATH, Maine — The Department of Defense has awarded Bath Iron Works competitor Huntington Ingalls Industries a $29.4 million contract for initial planning to repair the Bath-built USS Fitzgerald, with total repairs for the destroyer likely to reach $367 million.

The initial planning work will include restoration and modernization of the ship, according to a Department of Defense contract announcement.

The Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was built at Bath Iron Works and launched in 1994. In August, the Navy announced it had selected Ingalls to repair the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer that collided with the Philippine-flagged merchant vessel ACX off the coast of Japan on June 17.

The Fitzgerald is due to arrive at Ingalls’ shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in December via heavy lift ship.

A contract modification for full restoration and modernization will be announced before the end of the year, according to the announcement.

The contract was not competitively procured, and was awarded to Ingalls “under unusual and compelling urgency basis,” the release states.

During his visit to Bath Iron Works last week, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer said the Mississippi shipyard was chosen because it could most quickly return the destroyer to active duty.

But Bath shipbuilders were stunned at the Navy’s decision to repair a vessel they built at a competing shipyard.

“This wasn’t just any ship — this was our ship,” Mike Keenan, president of Local S6 of the Machinist Union, the largest union at BIW, said at the time of the announcement. “This meant everything to us. This would have been such a pride thing to repair one of our ships that was damaged and we lost some brave men and women … but to put salt in the wound by the Navy not even considering us — that was a heartbreaker.”

Spencer said Friday that no decision had been made on where to repair the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), which was damaged in an Aug. 21 collision off Singapore. The Navy said the McCain would be taken to the Navy’s regional repair and maintenance center in Yosuka, Japan, by heavy lift.

Only Bath Iron Works and Huntington Ingalls build Arleigh Burke-class destroyers for the Navy. The two companies are currently completing destroyers awarded as part of the last multiyear procurement. Both companies are preparing bids for another multiyear procurement to be awarded next year.

 


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