The restart of the U.S. Navy's DDG 51 Arleigh Burke destroyer building program swung in to a higher gear Sept. 26 with the award of two construction contracts and an option for a third.
Huntington Ingalls Industries received a $697.6 million contract to build the yet-to-be-named DDG 114 at its Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
General Dynamics Bath Iron Works was awarded a $679.6 million contract for DDG 115, to be built in Bath, Maine.
As the low bidder between the two, Bath also was awarded a contract option for DDG 116.
DDG 114 and 115 are funded in the 2011 defense act. Money for DDG 116 is included in the 2012 budget request, currently under consideration by Congress.
Ingalls on June 15 was awarded a $783.6 million contract to build DDG 113. The Navy did not reveal that contract amount until Sept. 26 while negotiations continued for the follow-on ships.
All the construction contracts are fixed-price-incentive agreements. The prices do not reflect total purchase costs, but are the monies to design and build them. Other government-furnished equipment, such as the Aegis combat system from Lockheed Martin, is provided to complete the ships.
DDG 113 will become the 63rd ship of the class, which originally had been planned to conclude with the 62nd ship. The Navy in 2008 altered its destroyer programs, shrinking the larger DDG 1000 Zumwalt class from seven to three ships in favor of continuing DDG 51 construction.
The new ships will be delivered with Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability, giving them the ability to track and intercept enemy ballistic missiles. As currently configured, the DDG 1000s lack that ballistic missile defense capability.
Arleigh Burke herself was commissioned in 1991. The latest Ingalls destroyer, William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), was commissioned on June 4, while the most recent Bath ship, the Spruance (DDG 111), will be commissioned Oct. 1 at Key West, Fla. Bath is currently working to complete Michael Murphy (DDG 112), and is also building all three DDG 1000-class ships.