Flurry of Contracts Spark US Navy Shipbuilding
WASHINGTON — The past few days have been good for a number of the US Navy’s shipbuilders. The service issued building contracts for two new destroyers, three littoral combat ships (LCS) and two new landing craft. Long-lead funding was issued for another LCS, and even the Coast Guard got in on the action, ordering another large National Security Cutter. A destroyer was launched, a new amphibious ship christened, and a high-speed catamaran vessel successfully completed sea trials.
Down at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer John Finn (DDG 113) was launched on March 28. The ship is the first of the DDG 51 restarts, the result of a 2008 Navy decision to cap production of DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers at three ships and return to building Burkes. Two yards build DDG 51s – Ingalls, and the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works yard in Bath, Maine. Before 2008, the Navy’s plan was to stop buying Burkes after the Michael Murphy (DDG 112), delivered in 2012. The John Finn will be christened May 2, and is expected to be delivered in 2016.