The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works a contract to build a fifth DDG 51 destroyer as part of the multi-year award announced in September. DDG 51 destroyers provide multi-mission capabilities, operating independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups and replenishment groups. “Bath Iron Works is privileged to continue producing state-of-the-art surface combatants for the longest running naval shipbuilding program in our nation’s history,” said Dirk Lesko, President of Bath Iron Works. “This award demonstrates the vital role the DDG 51 plays in the security posture of the United States and the confidence the Navy has in our shipyard to produce these important assets.”
General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is a business unit of General Dynamics. Since 1995, Bath Iron Works has been a subsidiary of General Dynamics, the fifth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2008. During World War II, ships built at BIW were considered to be of superior toughness by sailors and Navy officials, giving rise to the phrase “Bath-built is best-built.” In the most recent multi-year competition, BIW was awarded four ships. The Navy held a separate competition for an option ship as part of its commitment to growing the fleet. The Arleigh Burke class destroyer will be funded in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget.
There are currently five DDG 51 destroyers in production at Bath Iron Works: Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), Carl M. Levin (DDG 120), John Basilone (DDG 122), Harvey C. Barnum (DDG 124) and Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127). The shipyard’s backlog includes Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG 126) and the five ships that are part of the multi-year contract awarded in this fall. BIW also is building the third Zumwalt-class destroyer, Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002). Aegis guided missile destroyers are multi-mission surface combatants, capable of engaging targets on, above and below the surface. New ships in this class have anti-ballistic missile capabilities as well. The DDG’s all-steel construction provides a survivable platform. Ingalls shipbuilders incorporate lessons learned from previous ships to improve safety, quality cost and schedule requirements.