June 10 (UPI) -- Bath Iron Works received a $61.6 million contract modification for lead yard services for the U.S. Navy's DDG 51-class destroyers.
The Defense Department announced the contract with the company, a division of General Dynamics in Bath, Maine, on Friday.
"Lead yard services" is a broad category encompassing necessary engineering support and configuration, baseline upgrades and new technology support, data and logistics management, analysis, acceptance trials, post-delivery test and trials and other elements of supporting construction of DDG 51-class destroyers.
The ships are based upgraded designs to the Arleigh Burke-class of guided missile destroyers, the Navy's first using the Aegis Combat System and the SPY-1D multifunction radar array. The first ship of the class, the USS Arleigh Burke, was commissioned in 1991.
The ships were designed to use Tomahawk and other surface-to-air missiles and engage in antisubmarine warfare. With upgrades to their radar systems and associated missile payloads as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the class of ships is expected to serve as mobile anti-ballistic missile and anti-satellite weaponry platforms.
The class now comprises 66 ships, with 10 more under construction.
In June, the Navy announced that one will be named in honor of Quentin Walsh, the first time an Arleigh Burke-class ship will honor a member of the Coast Guard. Walsh, who died in 2000, was awarded the Navy Cross for his service during World War II.
The majority of the work announced in Friday's statement will be conducted in Bath, Maine. The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C., is the contracting agency.