Bath Irons Works said that the shipyard wants a new multi-year contract as it waits for the release of the Navy’s newest vessel.
The company has a backlog of 11 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and one Zumwalt-class destroyer that it is expected to complete within the next six years, The Times Record reported. Of those, eight are currently under construction.
The Navy plans to transition to a new large surface combatant, but the construction of the new vessel is not anticipated to start until the 2027 fiscal year, according to The Times Record. The vessels that fall under the umbrella term of large surface combatants are larger cruisers and destroyers.
The new vessels are expected to be larger than the 9,700-ton Arleigh Burke but smaller than a 15,700-ton Zumwalt. They will most likely be guided-missile destroyers, replacing the Navy’s aging Ticonderoga-class cruisers, according to the Congressional Research Service.
By securing a new multi-year shipbuilding contract, the shipyard’s president, Dirk Lesko, said in a State of the Business document sent to workers that BIW would maintain the momentum that is needed to build the new vessels, once plans are released.
Lesko said in a company report that he wants BIW and its Mississippi-based competitor Huntington Ingalls to work directly with the Navy on the design and construction of the new ship.
It is not currently clear whether BIW has been in contact with the Navy about this project.
Correction: An earlier version of this report misattributed a quote to BIW President Dirk Lesko.