MAY 8, 2013 — The Department of the Navy has notified U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) that it is pursuing the award of multi-year procurement contracts critical to the work of shipbuilder Bath Iron Works (BIW). The Navy will announce contracts for up to ten DDG-51 destroyers and associated systems for Fiscal Years 2013-2017 by June 4, according to a posting on Senator Collins' website. The posting notes that "BIW is a strong competitor for some of those contracts."
Senator Collins is a senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, and Senator King is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Both senators have worked to help ensure that Congress provides the necessary funding and certainty to enable the Navy to continue building the DDG-51. In their first event together in Maine in February, Senators Collins and King visited BIW to express their strong intention to work together to protect BIW and the jobs of thousands of Mainers.
In March, the Senators advocated for the passage of a Consolidated Continuing appropriations Act to fund the federal government through September 30, 2013, which included a full Defense Appropriations bill to fund the construction of these ships. In December of 2012, Senator Collins supported the passage of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, which granted the Navy the authority to move forward with the five-year contracts.
"This is certainly welcome news for BIW, its dedicated workforce, and for the State of Maine," said Senator Collins. "These ships would have been in jeopardy if the Navy had been forced to operate under a long-term Continuing Resolution. The fact that the Defense Department is committing to building up to ten DDG-51s over the next five years means a guaranteed opportunity for BIW to compete to build these ships. It provides a much-needed sense of job security for the highly-skilled men and women who work there."
"I am pleased to learn that the Navy is moving forward with its pursuit of multi-year procurement contracts for DDG-51 destroyers and look forward to the Navy's announcement next month about the details of the contracts," said Senator King. "The talented workforce at Bath Iron Works builds some of the best ships in the world, and I have no doubt that they are strong competitors to build a significant number of these vessels."