2014-12-12 / News

BIW gets another $21 million, extends DDG 51 contract

The Times Record

A VIEW OF THE MID-NOVEMBER deckhouse lift onto a DDG 1001. 

Two announcements by Maine’s Congressional Delegation Thursday spells good news for Bath Iron Works.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said Thursday night that BIW has won a $21 million deal to extend its work on construction of DDG 51 destroyers.

“Bath Iron Works is the lead designer of the current run of DDG 51s and the contract will allow them to provide engineering and support work for the ‘follow’ shipyard — the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascogoula, Mississippi,” the contract announcement states.

“This is a great example of the phrase ‘Bath built is best built,’” Pingree said. “BIW has done a great job as the lead shipbuilder on this contract, and it makes sense they get this additional contract to provide this kind of technical service to the other yard building these ships.”

The contract for $21,192,127 is technically a modification to a previously awarded contract, exercising an option for DDG 51 construction.

Last week Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, announced that the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act bill authorizes more than $3 billion for Navy destroyer programs.

On Thursday, in a joint statement, senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, and King announced the Senate and House appropriations committees have reached an agreement on the Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill, providing $554 billion in funds for the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy. The bill includes more than $3 billion for the U.S. Navy destroyer programs as King previously announced; including $2.66 billion for two Arleigh Burke-class DDG-51 destroyers, one of which will be built at Bath Iron Works, and $419 million for construction of the DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers. The bill also included funding for many other investments in Maine.

“I am pleased that this bill will continue to fully fund the DDG-51 and DDG- 1000 programs which are essential to the future of our surface fleet and the jobs for the hard-working shipbuilders at Bath Iron Works,” said Collins. “The renewed focus in the Asia- Pacific region as an area of the highest strategic interest, as well as instability in other areas of the world, require the maintenance and growth of a strong Navy fleet.”

“Thousands of Mainers, like those at BIW, work hard day in and day out to support our country’s national security and defense mission,” added King. “This bill is a continued investment in their work as well as a recognition that they will play a fundamental role as our armed forces confront threats across the globe and protect our interests at home.”

As a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Collins worked to fund the defense programs and as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, King worked to authorize funding for the programs and other provisions important to Maine:

. $6 billion for procurement of 38 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. Components for the F-35 are built at Pratt & Whitney in North Berwick, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems in Saco, Hunting Dearborn Inc. in Fryeburg, and Fairchild Semiconductor in South Portland.

. The bill eliminates funding for the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round proposed by the Obama Administration.

. The bill includes $1.6 billion for Navy facility maintenance and modernization, including projects at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery. This funding is $148 million more than the President’s budget request.

. The report accompanying the bill also includes language proposed by Collins to ensure the Navy funds the capital investment for the Navy’s four public shipyards, including Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, at the level required by law.

. $498 million for military engines that power F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft, which is $111 million more than the President’s budget request. Twenty-five percent of the parts for these engines will be built at the Pratt & Whitney plant in Maine. The F100-PW-229 production line would have closed without new orders.

. Neither the bill nor the report includes a costly study of an extra engine for the F-35 fighter, which would have competed with the existing engine produced by Pratt & Whitney.

. $25.3 million for M2 .50 caliber machine gun modifications performed at General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems in Saco.

. $13.4 million for procurement of the Common Remotely Operated Weapons System (CROWS). Vingtech in Biddeford produces components for the CROWS.

. $27.4 million to support Civil Air Patrol operations and maintenance nationwide, which is $2.4 million more than the President’s budget request. The Civil Air Patrol has nine stations in Maine.

. $560 million for research and development for the CH-53K helicopter. Hunting Dearborn in Fryeburg manufactures the rotor shaft for this helicopter.

. $225 million in Rapid Innovation Program funding to increase investment in small businesses and developing technologies that benefit the DOD.

The Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill is currently being considered by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the Senate and signed into law by the President.

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