WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy on Tuesday announced a pair of multiyear procurement contracts for the Arleigh Burke class of destroyers, awarding six to HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding and three to General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works.
The service will buy these nine Flight III destroyers across fiscal 2023 through 2027. The contracts also include options for additional ships, should they be funded in future defense budgets. The Navy did not disclose the value of the contracts in its Tuesday announcement.
In the previous multiyear procurement contract, which covered ships from FY18-22, the Navy initially awarded $3.9 billion to Bath Iron Works for four ships and $5.1 billion to Ingalls Shipbuilding for six ships.
The cost of the ships has increased since the last contract, however. According to FY24 budget documents, the Navy plans to spend $7.87 billion in FY23 for three ships. It projects spending about $4.3 billion to $4.7 billion a year to buy two destroyers a year throughout the rest of the contract period.
At the time, Bath Iron Works was running behind on its Arleigh Burke-class destroyer construction as it struggled to finish building the Zumwalt-class destroyers. The split reflected Ingalls’ ability to deliver the ships faster, amid the backlog at BIW’s Maine shipyard.
Though Bath has completed the Zumwalt program, it’s still working to dig out of its backlog.
“Arleigh Burke class destroyers are the backbone of the surface fleet and one of the most successful shipbuilding programs in the history of the Navy,” Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said in a statement. “These awards provide a long term stable demand signal to the shipbuilder and industrial supply base, encouraging industry investment in the workforce.”
Ingalls Shipbuilding President Kari Wilkinson echoed that point in a company statement, saying, “we look forward to the years of stability that this award provides.”
This multiyear procurement approach saved $830 million across the nine ships, acting assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition Frederick Stefany said in the Navy statement.
“We appreciate the opportunity to build on our history of providing these highly advanced ships for the U.S. Navy fleet,” Chuck Krugh, president of Bath Iron Works, said in a statement.
Megan Eckstein is the naval warfare reporter at Defense News. She has covered military news since 2009, with a focus on U.S. Navy and Marine Corps operations, acquisition programs and budgets. She has reported from four geographic fleets and is happiest when she’s filing stories from a ship. Megan is a University of Maryland alumna.