General Dynamics Bath Iron Works has received a contract to continue Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) lead yard services and Flight III upgrade design.

Under the $59m contract, the company will continue to provide engineering and technical support services, as well as special studies and Flight III design work for 42 US Navy ships until December 2017.

According to the company, the Flight III upgrades include an improved missile defence radar, increased shipboard power production and hull enhancements.

"The ships support carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups."

The company will employ more than 200 engineers, designers and planners to work on the project.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers have been designed to offer defence against a wide range of threats, including ballistic missiles.

The multi-mission combatant ships are fitted with Aegis combat system, the vertical launching system, an advanced ASW system, two embarked SH-60 helicopters, advanced anti-aircraft missiles and Tomahawk anti-ship and land-attack missiles.

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Powered by gas turbines, the ships support carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups, by providing a complete range of anti-submarine, anti-air and anti-surface capabilities.

The company has been providing technical assistance for design upgrades and major changes for DDG 51-class destroyers since 1987.

In June this year, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works christened the navy's second Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer, Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001).