House passes defense bill with potential works for Bath shipyard
The United States House on Wednesday passed its version of the annual legislation allowing the construction of defense infrastructure, which includes potential work for the Bath Iron Works.
The Home version of the National Defense Authorization Act includes funding for three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, the main type of ship built by BIW for the Navy, to be built in fiscal year 2022 , which runs from October 1, 2021 to September 30. , 2022.
The National Defense Authorization Act – or NDAA – is an annual law that dictates how federal funds are to be used by the Department of Defense. It allows a certain amount of funding for military equipment, including Navy ships, but does not determine which companies should get these contracts.
President Biden’s original military budget proposal provided for funding for one type of Arleigh Burke instead of two as planned. This severed ship was immediately rejected by lawmakers, including the Maine delegation, and lawmakers set to work proposing amendments that overturned the president’s proposal.
The House-approved version also authorizes the Navy to enter into a multi-year contract for 15 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers over five years beginning in fiscal 2023.
The Arleigh Burkes, often referred to as the “workhorse of the navy” by Senator Angus King, are built by only two shipyards in the country: BIW and its competitor, Mississippi-based Huntington Ingalls. When the Navy has entered into multi-year contracts for several Arleigh Burkes in the past, BIW and Huntington Ingalls shared the work.
Then the House and Senate will come together to eliminate the differences between their two versions of the Defense Bill before the final version is presented to the President later this year.
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