The U.S. Navy tapped General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works subsidiary for a $680-million construction project to build the third DDG 51-class destroyer, the DDG 115. The new ship will be delivered in 2016.
The same award places a $665-million option with Bath Iron Works for the DDG 116, the fourth ship in the series.
The U.S. Dept. of Defense stages its contract placements for “long-lead” projects, so that construction can be monitored and financed more reliably. The new contract will allow primary fabrication to begin for a program already in development: a $1.8-billion contract was awarded earlier this month to begin primary construction of the second and third DDG series destroyers, and those ships are already well along in their progress.
The contracts cover work by Bath Iron Works only, and not weapons or other aspects of the ships’ design.
The DDG series guided missile destroyers are built of steel and driven by gas-turbine propulsion. They are designed for anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface operations, and fortified with the AEGIS combat system, a Vertical Launching System, an advanced anti-submarine warfare system, two embarked SH-60 helicopters, anti-aircraft missiles, and Tomahawk anti-ship and land-attack missiles.
In regular service, the multi-mission vessels will support carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups, and replenishment groups.
"This award is a welcome addition to our backlog and is a positive sign that we will be building DDG 51s in Bath well into the future,” according to Bath Iron Works president Jeff Geiger. “Along with the award of DDG 1001 and 1002 last week, it is another expression of the Navy's confidence in our ability to build affordable, high-quality ships. It also enables us to maintain a strong base of quality shipbuilding jobs in Maine."