Bath Iron Works protests big contract Navy awarded to competitor

By BETH BROGAN | Bangor Daily News, Maine | Published: June 28, 2019

(Tribune News Service) — Bath Iron Works has filed an official protest of a nearly $1 billion contract awarded by the U.S. Navy to Huntington Ingalls Industries for planning yard services for shallow-water combat ships.

General Dynamics, which owns BIW, filed the protest with the Government Accountability Office on June 20. BIW is the second shipbuilder to protest the April award, joining Austal USA, Inside Defense reported.

The initial award, announced in April, was for $5 million, and included options that could increase its value to $931 million, The Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia, reported.

Bath Iron Works previously held the contract for littoral combat ship planning yard services. In August 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a release that the contract, potentially worth more than $100 million, would make BIW “the single planning yard, providing engineering, planning, ship configuration, material and logistics support to maintain and modernize both variants of the [littoral combat ship] class.”

At the time, then-BIW spokesman Matt Wickenheiser called the contract “an important win.”

“It really is a strategic win that allows us to leverage our existing experience and infrastructure to support the Navy,” he said at the time. “As more littoral combat ships are delivered to the fleet over time, we expect there may be a couple of hundred people supporting the program.”

A spokesman for BIW did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday.

While the GAO docket does not specify the target of a protest, The Daily Press reported that a GAO official confirmed that the companies protested the Ingalls’ contract.

The GAO must resolve protests within 100 days of the filing date, giving the GAO until Sept. 30 to resolve the BIW protest.

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