BIW gets Navy nod to build destroyer

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BATH — Bath Iron Works anticipates securing a contract with the Navy to build a sixth DDG-51 destroyer.

The agreement stems from a 2002 pact with the Navy that gives BIW another DDG-51 should the Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi be awarded a contract to construct an amphibious attack ship, according to a Dec. 5 announcement from the office of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.

The Navy announced Dec. 4 that the amphibious ship would be built in Mississippi, and that it would honor the agreement for a new ship in Bath.

“The DDG-51s have been real workhorses for the Navy, and building more of them at BIW is a smart investment,” Pingree said in a statement. “Bath is building high quality ships incredibly efficiently, and it makes sense to keep that highly skilled workforce fully employed. I’ve pushed for the Navy to honor this swap agreement and I’m glad they intend to do so.”

Congress must still find funding to build the sixth DDG-51 destroyer. Pingree, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, has advocated to make that funding available, according to her office. The ships have cost roughly $1.5 billion each to build, Pingree’s office reported Monday.