Bath shipyard a finalist for cutter design

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BATH — Bath Iron Works has been awarded a $21 million preliminary design contract to build an offshore patrol cutter for the U.S. Coast Guard.

BIW is one of three shipyards competing for the final contract, according to a joint announcement Tuesday by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and Angus King, I-Maine, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“With its skilled workforce and an outstanding record of designing, building and providing superior life-cycle support for ships, Bath Iron Works is uniquely positioned to build vessels like the Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutters,” the senators said in their statement. “The Offshore Patrol Cutter would not only be an excellent fit for BIW, but it would also create good jobs and be a substantial boost to Maine’s economy. We are delighted that BIW has been selected to move forward in the Coast Guard’s contract process.”

BIW was one of eight shipyards to submit a design and construction proposal for the vessel when the Coast Guard released a request for proposal for its design and construction last month. The vessel’s construction is due to begin in fiscal 2017.