The Navy on Wednesday funded two of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers it procured in fiscal year 2016, with one ship for Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] Ingalls Shipbuilding and another for General Dynamics [GD] Bath Iron Works (BIW).

The service in 2013 previously awarded each of the shipbuilders multiyear procurement contracts for FY ’13-’17 for five destroyers each. This funding pays for the seventh and eighth ships under that buy, which will be in the Flight IIA configuration, according to a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) news release.

The USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51). Photo: U.S. Navy
The USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51). Photo: U.S. Navy

The decision releases $618 million in funding for Ingalls to build DDG-123, the company said. It was awarded $55 million in advanced procurement, resulting in a total $673 million award for the currently unnamed DDG-123.

BIW was awarded a $644.3 million contract modification for DDG-124, and it values the total multiyear buy at $3.4 billion, the company said in a news release.

The final ship procured with FY ’16 funds, which was inserted by Congress into the budget, is slated to be the first of the Navy’s new Flight III destroyers that include the Air and Missile Defense Radar AN/SPY-6 made by Raytheon [RTN], as well as additional power and cooling. The AMDR replaces the AN/SPY-1D radar and is 30 times more sensitive compared to the legacy radar, Raytheon has said (Defense Daily, Jan 13).

In January, Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG-51 program manager, said the service would either have to issue a new contract for the ship or add it to an existing contract. However, the Navy had not yet finalized its contracting strategy at the time. It also had not determined which of the two builders would construct the first Flight III destroyer.

According to NAVSEA, the use of multiyear contracts saved more than $2.2 billion and allowed the builders to efficiently structure the work for the ships and buy material in bulk.

“These funding actions demonstrate the Navy’s continued success in executing the DDG-51 class shipbuilding program,” Vandroff said. “By successfully leveraging competition throughout the DDG-51 shipbuilding program, the Navy continues to generate cost savings while delivering vital warfighting capability.”

Ingalls currently is constructing five destroyers at its facility in Pascagoula, Miss.,: John Finn (DDG-113), Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), Paul Ignatius (DDG-117), Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) and Frank E. Peterson Jr. (DDG-121). The current five-ship contract will keep Ingalls building destroyers until 2023.

DDG-123 will be the 34th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer built by the company, said George Nungesser, Ingalls’ DDG-51 program manager. “Maintaining the same shipbuilding teams from ship to ship is paying dividends to our learning curve. The U.S. Navy sailors manning this future DDG deserve the best quality, and our shipbuilders will provide that in a way that is the most cost-effective.

Four Arleigh Burkes are in production at Bath Iron Works’ shipyard in Bath, Maine: Rafael Peralta (DDG-115), Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) and Carl M. Levin (DDG 120), the company said.

“This funding will allow us to continue our efforts associated with planning and construction of DDG-124,” said BIW President Fred Harris. “The men and women of Bath Iron Works are working hard to continuously improve our processes as we contribute to the U.S. Navy’s important shipbuilding programs.”