Bath Iron Works lands $87.2 million contract to upgrade frigates, destroyers

By BETH BROGAN | Bangor Daily News, Maine | Published: May 31, 2018

BATH, Maine (Tribune News Service) — The Department of Defense on Wednesday awarded Bath Iron Works an $87.2 million follow-on contract for planning yard services for the Arleigh Burke class destroyers and Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates.

The shipyard will provide design, planning and material support services for both maintenance and modernization, according to the announcement.

The work will be performed in Bath by February 2019.

The Perry, or FFG 7, class, was built at Bath Iron Works, among several other shipyards, from 1975 to 2004. The last FFG 7 was decommissioned in 2015, according to Naval Technology.

Older Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates are not currently part of the U.S. Navy fleet, although other countries such as Australia use them, BIW spokesman David Hench said.

As President Donald Trump pressed for a build-up of the Navy to 355 ships, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said in June 2017 that the Navy would “take a hard look” at bringing “mothballed” Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates back into service, the U.S. Naval Institute reported.

But in December, USNI reported that reactivation would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The $87 million contract covers maintenance for DDG 51s and FFG 7s, Hench said.

Also on Tuesday, Colleen E. O’Rourke, spokeswoman for Naval Sea Command, told the Bangor Daily News that the Navy expects to award the next multi-year procurement of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers this summer — and that 13 ships could ultimately be awarded.

Bath Iron Works and Huntington Ingalls Industries Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, are the only shipyards that build the DDG 51s for the Navy.

O’Rourke said 10 DDG 51s will be awarded — two per year for fiscal years 2018 to 2022 — with option ships in each year to enable the Navy to procure three additional ships (one each in fiscal years 2019, 2021 and 2022).

“The option ships also allow Congress flexibility to increase DDG 51 build rates above the 13 Flight III ships in the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget request, if appropriated,” she wrote in an email.

©2018 the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine)
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