BATH, Maine — The U.S. Navy has awarded Bath Iron Works a $55.1 million contract modification to a previously awarded contract to provide lead yard services for the DDG 51 (Arleigh Burke) class destroyer program.
The work will be completed by June 2022, according to the award issued by the Naval Sea Systems Command.
The award comes amid concern expressed by Maine's Congressional delegation that U.S President Joe Biden's Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal reduces the number of DDG 51 Flight III destroyers from one to two.
In May, the delegation wrote to Biden that such a reduction "would harm the large surface combatant shipyard industrial base and its talented workforce, which have made great progress working to increase capacity and efficiency over the past several years.”
Last week, Rhode Island Congressman Joe Courtney, who serves as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, visited BIW at the invitation of Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Congressman Jared Golden, both Democrats. In May, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Harker and Chief of Naval Operations Michael Gildey visited the shipyard.
In a joint statement Tuesday following the contract modification award, the delegation said, "At a time when many American adversaries are increasing their naval capabilities, investing in the DDG-51 destroyer is vitally important to our national security. The additional funding provided by this contract modification will help Maine shipbuilders continue to produce the best, most reliable warships in the world for American sailors.”
BIW is currently building six Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and one Zumwalt-class destroyer, a spokesman said last week.
The shipyard is also completing post-delivery work on the future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118).
Contracts for four additional Arleigh Burkes have been awarded to BIW.
The company has hired thousands of employees, both to fill new positions and those of employees who retired, since 2019.
"We have committed to reaching a build rate of 1.8 ships per year by the end of the year on our march toward building two ships per year," the company said in an email.