US Congressman Jared Golden has received approval for the US Navy to enter a multiyear contract to construct up to 15 DDG-51 destroyers, starting from FY2023.
The approval is for the amendment to the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
According to Golden, receiving this authorisation is a significant win for shipbuilders at Bath Iron Works (BIW).
The House Armed Forces Seapower Subcommittee, where Golden serves as vice-chair, unanimously passed the amendment.
Golden said that the amendment also authorises two DDG-51 destroyers in FY2022.
BIW is one of the two shipyards that builds the DDG-51 vessels.
Golden said: “This multiyear procurement contract will deliver DDG-51 Flight III ships to the navy over the next five years, ensuring that we have the large surface combatant fleet that we need to remain competitive in the short term.
“And this multiyear contract will act as a bridge to the DDG-X that the navy will need in the long term, by providing the stability and predictability needed to maintain the shipbuilding workforce.
“The preservation of this workforce is a matter of national security, and we just can’t afford to lose these skilled shipbuilders.”
In December 2018, the US Navy awarded General Dynamics BIW a contract to build a fifth DDG 51 destroyer.
Five DDG 51 destroyers initially contracted to be built by BIW are Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), Carl M Levin (DDG 120), John Basilone (DDG 122), Harvey C Barnum (DDG 124) and Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127).
In March, General Dynamics BIW officially delivered the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) to the US Navy.
The navy’s DDG 51 destroyers possess multi-mission capabilities and can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups.
They are also capable of operating as part of surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and replenishment groups.