By Geoff Fein

The Navy last night awarded the first contracts for its next-generation combat ship, DDG-1000, to General Dynamics [GD] Bath Iron Works and Northrop Grumman [NOC] Shipbuilding under a unique dual-lead ship acquisition plan.

General Dynamics was awarded a $1.39 billion contract for DDG-1000, which includes construction of the DDG-1001 mid forebody under a work share agreement with Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS).

Northrop Grumman received a $1.40 billion award for DDG-1001 that includes construction of the DDG-1000 superstructure and hangar under a work share agreement with Bath Iron Works.

The DDG-1000-class ship will provide advanced land attack capability in support of the ground campaign and contribute naval, joint, or combined battle-space dominance in littoral operation, according to the Navy.

In September, Bath took delivery of the first set of mission systems equipment, much of which is being supplied by BAE Systems and Raytheon [RTN] .

DDG-1000 will be outfitted with the latest radar, sensors and combat systems in the Navy’s arsenal, including BAE’s Advanced Gun System and Lockheed Martin‘s [LMT] Long Range Land Attack Projectile.

DDG-1000 began its life as DD-21 and went through numerous iterations and a cancellation before resurfacing as DD(X). The Navy named the lead ship the USS Zumwalt in 2000. At the time, the service planned to build 32 of the new destroyers. Since then, the number to be procured slowly dwindled as the cost for the ship gradually increased. The current acquisition plan calls for the Navy to buy seven ships.