By The Associated Press
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. has been awarded a $697.6 million contract to build an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in Pascagoula, Miss.
Low bidder Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, meanwhile, is being awarded a similar contract with an option to build a second ship.
The Arleigh Burke-class ships are guided missile destroyers equipped with the Aegis weapons systems, and the multi-mission vessels can conduct a variety of missions, from peacetime presence to fighting air, surface and subsurface battles.
The Navy announced the contracts Monday.
Ingalls will build DDG 114 and Bath Iron Works will build DDGs 115 and — pending congressional appropriation — 116.
These three ships will be the first under a restart of the Arleigh Burke destroyer program, which dates to the 1980s when the first ship was delivered.
The Arleigh Burke warships have proven to be so versatile that the Navy has been modifying them for use for ballistic missile defense. Eventually, the Navy plans to seek bids for a revised Flight III version of the ship that will include many additional improvements.
In June, the Navy announced that Ingalls had received a design and construction contract to build DDG 113.
Ingalls delivered its 28th DDG 51 class ship, the $1 billion William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) to the Navy in February. It was commissioned in Mobile, Ala., on June 4.
Ingalls Shipbuilding is Mississippi’s largest private employer and currently has about 10,500 employees.