Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has tapped two companies, Huntington Ingalls Industries and Bath Iron Works, to build 10 of its Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers over the next decade.
The Navy awarded contracts to the two companies on Thursday worth about $9 billion -- HII was awarded $5.1 billion for its six DDG 51-class vessels, with BIW's contract valued at $3.9 billion.
The contracts cover engineering change proposals, design budgeting requirements and post-delivery availabilities for all ten ships. The contracts also include options for an additional five DDG 51-class vessels in the future.
Navy officials say the branch saved about $700 million by using a multiyear procurement for the ships as a group, rather than contracting for each vessel individually, which will accelerate delivery of the vessels.
"We executed this competition on a quick timeline that reflects the urgency in which the Navy and our industry partners are operating to ensure we meet the demands of the National Defense Strategy," James F. Geurts, assistant secretary of the navy for research, development and acquisition, said in a statement.
All 10 ships will be constructed under the Flight III configuration, which includes the AN/SPY-6(v) Air and Missile Defense Radar, the Navy said.
Most work under the HII contract will be performed in Pascagoula, Miss., and is expected to be completed by April 2029. The Navy obligated $1.7 billion in fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion funds to HII at the time of contract award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
BIW, which currently has four DDG 51 destroyers under construction and two more in backlog, will perform most of its work in Bath, Maine, spreading the rest to several other locations in the United States. Work is expected to be complete by June 2028.
The Navy obligated $25 million in fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion funds to BIW at the time of contract award, with none of the funds expiring at the end of the current fiscal year.