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Bath Iron Works scores $1B for destroyer in defense bill

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Bath Iron Works scores $1B for destroyer in defense bill

BATH — Both houses of Congress have approved the final Defense Authorization Bill for fiscal 2010, which includes $1 billion for a destroyer expected to be worked on at Bath Iron Works.

The office of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced passage on Oct. 22 of the bill, which authorizes $1 billion for construction of the third Zumwalt-class DDG-1000 vessel and honors an agreement that all three ships be built at BIW. The bill also includes $2.2 billion for continued procurement of DDG-51 vessels, as well as almost $150 million for a DDG-51 modernization program and $1.4 billion toward the Littoral Combat Ship program, according to Collins' office.

The bill also includes $1.8 million for Brunswick-based Technology Systems. The funds go toward additional development of a threat identification program, along with test and demonstration on small craft to facilitate tailoring of the system for small-craft operators.

Both the House and Senate had developed and passed separate authorization and appropriations bills, after which the two bills were developed into one that received approval last week, Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley said Monday.

BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini said monies from both the fiscal 2009 and 2010 defense bills are expected to pay for the third DDG-1000. Northrop Grumman in Pascagoula, Miss., is expected to provide the composite deck house and helicopter hangar, as well as the aft peripheral vertical launch system for all three vessels. BIW will then construct the rest of each ship and incorporate the Northrop components.

BIW is currently ramping up production of the first DDG-1000, which the shipyard plans to deliver to the U.S. Navy in 2013.

DeMartini said the additional $2.2 billion in the defense bill relates to extension of the DDG-51 production line. The shipyard still has three DDG-51 ships under construction, the last of which – DDG-113, named Michael Murphy – is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2011.

The DDG-51 modernization program is geared mainly toward upgrading the AEGIS combat system to support ballistic missile defense, DeMartini said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.