Monday, April 6, 2009

President's budget calls on BIW to build all three DDG-1000s

Senator Collins urged Administration to fully fund third DDG-1000 to have steady work for BIW

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committees, today announced that Bath Iron Works is slated to build all three DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers according to the FY 2010 Department of Defense budget announced today by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

“This is incredibly welcome news for Maine and is a testament to the highly skilled, hard-working men and women at Bath Iron Works,” said Senator Collins. “My goal has always been to help ensure a steady work flow at BIW and a strong industrial base for shipbuilding. That is why I worked hard to convince the President and the Navy to include full funding for a third DDG-1000 in the budget, and I am delighted that they have agreed. The Pentagon's preference to have BIW build all three of the DDG-1000’s demonstrates confidence in BIW and should also stabilize production costs for the Navy.”

"While this strategy depends on the completion of negotiations between BIW and Northrop Grumman as well as congressional approval, this budget is a giant step toward a stable workload for BIW," said Sen. Collins.

As a result of Senator Collins’ work, the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee demonstrated strong support for the procurement of the third DDG-1000. However, as the result of a lack of support on the House Armed Services Committee, the FY 09 Department of Defense Appropriations Act only provided partial funding for the third ship. Just last month, Senator Collins wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates reiterating her strong support for full funding of the third DDG-1000.

In addition to advocating for a strong Navy and a stable workload at Bath Iron Works, Senator Collins will be touring BIW with Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard tomorrow, Tuesday, April 7.

Admiral Patrick Walsh, Vice Chief of Naval Operations called Senator Collins this afternoon to personally discuss the announcement.

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