U.S. Navy changes course on DDG-1000

The Navy had scrapped the ship and agreed to complete the two under construction, but now has agreed to the building of a third in Bath, Maine.

The Associated Press (AP) reported on Aug. 19 that the U.S. Navy has reversed course and decided to build a third DDG-1000 destroyer, which will be constructed at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told the AP that the Department of Defense also will seek to reprogram funds from other accounts to lay the groundwork for restarting the DDG-51, or Arleigh Burke, destroyer program.

The U.S. Navy announced several weeks ago that it was discontinuing the composites-intensive DDG-1000 program and that only the two craft currently under construction would be completed.

Collins told the AP that if the Navy had not changed its mind to truncate the program at two Zumwalt-class destroyers, it could have created "a devastating gap" in the work production schedule at Bath Iron Works.

Under the current plan, Bath will build two Zumwalt-class destroyers, while its competitor, Northrop Grumman's Ingalls (Pascagoula, Miss.) will build one. BIW is scheduled to begin raw material fabrication on the first Zumwalt in October.

The AP report also says that the U.S. Senate version of the defense spending bill includes full funding – $2.6 billion – for the third DDG-1000, but the House version does not contain such funding.