BATH, Maine, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works a contract valued at $2.8 billion for the construction of four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, with an option for a fifth ship. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).
"This contract adds four ships to our workload in a fiscally challenging and highly competitive environment, and provides a clearer picture of our near-term future," said Jeff Geiger, president of Bath Iron Works. "Continuation of the DDG 51 program provides important work for the men and women of Bath Iron Works and allows us to extend our record of delivering these critical surface combatants to the U.S. Navy."
The option for the fifth ship, if exercised, would bring the total value of the contract to approximately $3.5 billion.
Geiger said the work of Maine's congressional delegation was critical in support of the multi-year procurement approach."We appreciate the strong support of our senators and representatives, who have been instrumental in educating their colleagues and others about the vital national-security need for a strong naval fleet, and their advocacy on behalf of the shipbuilders of Maine," Geiger said. There are currently two DDG 51 destroyers in production at Bath Iron Works, Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) and Thomas Hudner (DDG 116). The shipyard began fabrication on DDG 115 in November 2011, and delivery to the Navy is scheduled for 2016. Fabrication on DDG 116 began in November 2012, and that ship is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2017. Bath Iron Works is also building the three ships in the planned three-vessel Zumwalt-class of destroyers, Zumwalt (DDG 1000), Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and Lyndon Johnson (DDG 1002). All three ships are progressing in construction. Bath Iron Works celebrated the keel-laying milestone for Michael Monsoor in late May, and Zumwalt is expected to be launched later this year. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is a multi-mission combatant that offers defense against a wide range of threats, including ballistic missiles. It operates in support of carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups, providing a complete array of anti-submarine (ASW), anti-air (AAW) and anti-surface (SuW) capabilities. Designed for survivability, the ships incorporate all-steel construction and have gas turbine propulsion. The combination of the ships' AEGIS combat system, the Vertical Launching System, an advanced ASW system, two embarked SH-60 helicopters, advanced anti-aircraft missiles and Tomahawk anti-ship and land-attack missiles make the Arleigh Burke class the most powerful surface combatant ever put to sea. Bath Iron Works currently employs roughly 5,400 people.