On Tuesday, the U.S. Navy declared a pair of multiyear procurement agreements for the destroyers belonging to the Arleigh Burke class, awarding three to General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and six to HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding.
The service will buy nine new Flight III destroyers across the fiscal year 2023 through 2027. The deals also include the options for additional vessels, should they get funded in future defence budgets. The Navy, however, did not disclose the value of the contracts in the Tuesday announcement.
However, the vessel cost has increased since the last contract. Per FY 2024 budget documents, the Navy plans on spending $7.87 billion in FY 2023 for three boats. It reportedly projects spending nearly $4.3 billion to almost $4.7 billion each year for purchasing two destroyers throughout the rest of the contract phase.
At the time, Bath Iron Works had been running behind on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer building as it strived to complete building the destroyers of the Zumwalt class.
The split highlighted Ingalls’ ability to deliver the vessels faster, despite the backlog at the shipyard of BIW Maine. Even though Bath has executed the Zumwalt program, it still strives to dig out of the backlog.
Destroyers that belong to the Arleigh Burke class are the backbone of the surface fleet and one of the most successful shipbuilding missions in the history of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro, the Navy Secretary, mentioned in a statement.
The awards offer a long-term and stable demand signal to the industrial and shipbuilder supply base, boosting investment in the workforce. Kari Wilkinson, Ingalls Shipbuilding President, echoed that point in a company statement, mentioning that they are looking forward to years of stability that the award offers.
The multiyear procurement approach saved $830 million across the nine vessels, Frederick Stefany, the acting assistant secretary for research, development, and acquisition, mentioned in the official Navy statement.
Chuck Krugh, the president of Bath Iron Works, said that they appreciate the opportunity of building on the history of offering highly advanced vessels for the fleet of the U.S. Navy.
Reference: Defense News, USNI, WLOX
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