Shipyards agreed to have DDG-1000s built in Maine
Published 11:27 pm Thursday, April 9, 2009
A Pentagon proposal to have all three of the Navy’s new DDG-1000 destroyers built in Maine had the blessing of the two contractors that could build the multibillion-dollar ships, industry officials confirmed Wednesday.
Northrop Grumman said it agreed to a deal with General Dynamics. The deal would have Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, build the stealth destroyers while Northrop Grumman’s Mississippi yard builds the first two DDG-51 destroyers when that decades-old program is restarted.
The next-generation DDG-1000 survived scrutiny as Defense Secretary Robert Gates laid out plans Monday to slash several major weapons programs.
Bath is already building the first of the ships, and the second was to have been built in Pascagoula by Northrop Grumman. The Pentagon plan added a third ship for the Maine yard.
The agreement between the rival shipyards was confirmed by Margaret Mitchell-Jones, a spokeswoman at Northrop Grumman.
The futuristic-looking DDG-1000, or Zumwalt-class destroyer, was envisioned as the successor to the DDG-51, also known as the Arleigh Burke, a program that dates back to the 1980s. Conceived as a stealth warship that could pound the shore with firepower from 100 miles away, the new ship features composite materials, an electric-drive propulsion and an unconventional hull.
After the Mississippi yard is awarded the first two DDG-51s under the program restart, the third to be built would go to Bath Iron Works, said Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss.