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Navy Makes $6 Billion Multi-Year Destroyer Buy

The U.S. Navy has ordered up to 10 new DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers through a new $6.1 billion multi-year procurement deal, service officials said June 3.

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) was awarded a $2.8 billion contract for the design and construction of four DDG 51 class ships. One of the destroyers will be built in FY 2013 followed by one each for years FY 2015 through FY 2017, according to a press statement from Naval Sea Systems Command.  The award also includes a contract option for a fifth ship, the statement said.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) was also awarded a $3.3 billion contract for the design and construction of five DDG 51 class ships, one each from FY 2013 to 2017.

"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,"  said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in a written statement provided by the Navy.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, first commissioned in 1991, are roughly 500-foot, high-tech warships equipped with a range of capabilities to include Tomahawk Missiles, vertical launch tubes, electronic warfare gear, torpedoes, sonar, 5-inch guns and Phalanx Close In Weapons Systems, among other technologies.

“The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission surface combatant ships designed for anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare and surface warfare. They provide defensive capability to carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups and also have the ability to conduct offensive operations when needed,” said Chris Johnson, NAVSEA spokesman.

These multiyear procurement awards are for a total of nine ships, with an option for a tenth ship, the NAVSEA statement said.  Overall, multi-year acquisition awards are designed to lower costs by planning large-scale procurements over a number of years. This creates stability for industry planning production and also lowers costs for the government by firming up large purchases in advance.

“The Navy will work with Congress to resolve funding shortfalls resulting from sequestration reductions before contracting for the tenth ship,” according to the Navy's statement. Beginning with the second ship in 2016, the Navy plans to implement a new Flight III design which will replace the Aegis AN/SPY-1D radar with a new radar called the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR), according to the Navy. Also, the Flight III configuration will provide for more electrical power and cooling capacity, providing the next generation of integrated air and missile defense and joint battle space awareness, Navy officials indicated.

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