Jun 03 2013
By April M. Havens
PASCAGOULA, Mississippi -- Ingalls Shipbuilding has won a $3.33 billion fixed-price incentive, multi-year contract to build 5 Navy destroyers, adding to the Pascagoula yard's long history of building DDG 51-class destroyers.
One ship will be built in Pascagoula each fiscal year from 2013 to 2017, the Navy said.
The contract also includes options for engineering change proposals, design budgeting requirements and post-delivery availabilities, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to $3.39 billion.
The Arleigh Burke-class ships, which are 510 feet long and carry a 276-person crew, are guided missile destroyers equipped with the Aegis weapons systems.
They are built by Ingalls' Pascagoula yard and at General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.
"Our shipbuilders have a strong legacy of building DDG 51s, a class of ships that for decades has proven itself to be the workhorse of the Navy's fleet," Ingalls' DDG 51 Program Manager George Nungesser said.
"This contract award and, importantly, the Navy's structuring of the program, increases our momentum in realizing efficiencies generated from true serial production," he said. "We are committed to getting it right and doing it better every day, and we appreciate this opportunity to continue building the world's finest surface combatants."
The contract ensures Ingalls will be building DDGs over the next decade, the company said in a news release.
The multi-mission vessels can conduct a variety of operations from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Ingalls has said they are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles.
Bath Iron Works was also awarded Monday a $2.8 billion fixed-price incentive firm target contract for the design and construction of 4 of the ships. That award also includes a contract option for a 5th destroyer.
"These contract awards represent great value to the taxpayer and will ensure our warfighters have the ships and systems they need to prevail in any situation," Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said. "By leveraging competition in the DDG 51 class shipbuilding program, these shipbuilders will continue their proud histories in delivering these highly capable ships to the fleet while meeting critical operational requirements for integrated air and missile defense capability."
Ingalls delivered its 28th Arleigh Burke ship -- William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) -- to the Navy in February 2011. When the ship left, it was the first time in decades that a destroyer hadn't been in the pipeline at the Pascagoula yard.
Lawrence was expected to be the last ship in the class, until the Navy decided to restart it and awarded contracts to Bath Iron Works for DDG 111 and 112 and to Ingalls for DDG 113 and 114.
Fabrication began in Pascagoula last September on John Finn (DDG 113), which is slated for completion in 2016, and workers will begin fabrication of Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) this year.
DDG 115 and 116 are under contract at Bath Iron Works.
The latest round of destroyers are being procured in a Flight IIA configuration, officials said, but the Navy plans to introduce the first DDG 51 Flight III on the second ship in fiscal year 2016.
The Navy expects the Flight III design to replace the Aegis AN/SPY-1D radar with the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) and provide for more electrical power and cooling capacity, providing the next generation of integrated air and missile defense and joint battle space awareness.
"This is great news that assures the Pascagoula shipyard's role in modernizing the Navy fleet. I appreciate the confidence the Navy has in the skill and dedication of men and women who work at the Ingalls shipyard. I share that confidence and will continue to work to ensure that the Navy has the resources it needs to meet our national security needs," said Sen. Thad Cochran, the vice chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
"Mississippi's shipbuilders are some of the finest in the world," said Sen. Roger Wicker, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I am pleased the U.S. Navy continues to take notice of the great work being done in Pascagoula. This contract will ensure our Navy continues to maintain world-class superiority through the construction of Mississippi-built 'Arleigh Burke' Class Destroyers."
"This award is great news and something I've watched closely for some time now. I've been committed to multi-year procurement because it ensures the best product for the Navy at the best price for the taxpayer. This is yet another testament to the exceptional work our Mississippi shipbuilders and Ingalls Shipbuilding do in support of our national defense," said U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Biloxi, a member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.