BIW, Navy agree on final 2 Zumwalt destroyers

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BATH — Bath Iron Works and the U.S. Navy reached agreement Tuesday night on the price and major terms for two new destroyers.

The contract for the second and third vessels of the Zumwalt-class line, DDG-1001 and DDG-1002, is expected to be awarded in September, BIW President Jeff Geiger said in a prepared statement.

Geiger called the agreement “an important milestone representing the opportunity for greater workload stability in today’s fiscally constrained environment. It also challenges us to find more efficient and less costly ways to operate in every part of our business if we are to be affordable and ultimately successful.”

While the contract is finalized, Navy Assistant Secretary Sean Stackley said, “we can proceed with funding material and other work to keep 1001 and 1002 on track.”

BIW will construct most of both ships. The Navy had previously awarded a contract for the first of the three ships, DDG-1000. Capt. Cate Mueller, a Navy spokeswoman, said that vessel is half complete and is scheduled to be delivered in 2014.

The DDG-1001 is about 20 percent complete, and design work has taken place on the DDG-1002, she said.

“This agreement will include transitioning the partial construction contract for DDG-1001 into a full construction contract,” Mueller said.

The agreement followed months of negotiations, according to the office of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Collins serves on both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

“This is incredibly welcome news for Maine and is a testament to the highly skilled, hard-working men and women at Bath Iron Works,” Collins said in a prepared statement. “My goal has always been to help ensure a steady work flow at BIW and a strong industrial base for shipbuilding. That is why, despite repeated efforts in the House to cut funding, I fought hard for full funding for all three DDG-1000 ships, and I am delighted that an agreement has been reached.”

She noted that with the DDG-1000 contract, which the Navy awarded in 2008, “this agreement will bring BIW’s construction contracts for the three DDG-1000 ships to a level that will be more than $3 billion.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.