April 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Bath Iron Works Announces Backlog Of $543 Million

Bath Iron Works' Bath, Maine, record-breaking work backlog passed the half-billion-dollar mark with the recent announcement of a firm $150-million Navy fixedprice incentive award to the shipyard for three more guided-missile frigates in the FFG-7 Class (MARITIME REPORTER /Engineering News of March 15, 1977).

In addition, the award includes options for additional ships to be funded by Congress in the FY 1978 budget.

BIW president John F. Sullivan said the award boosts the shipyard's backlog to a new record level of $543 million. The award brings BIW's firm participation in the FFG-7 program to a total of nine ships, including the USS Oliver Hazard Perry, lead ship in the class.

"This contract is another landmark in BIW's continuing commitment to the FFG-7 Program," said Mr. Sullivan. "We are now assured that workforce levels achieved during construction of the first six frigates can be maintained through 1981 by this contract." The contract is for ships already approved by Congress for FY 1977, and includes options for as many as four additional FFG-7 frigates, following Congressional approval of the FY 1978 budget.

The other five frigates funded in the 1977 budget were awarded to Todd Shipyards' two West Coast facilities.

Mr. Sullivan noted that, "With 74 ships planned by the Navy in the Perry Class, BIW has bright prospects well into the 1980s if our participation in the program remains at the expected rate of four deliveries per year." At the peak of production, it is expected that three frigates will be under construction simultaneously on the BIW shipways.

During this period of high-production activity, BIW will be launching frigates at a rate of one every three months.

Present estimates call for approximately 200 Navy personnel to be in the area during this peak period as nucleus crewmen "building with their ships." In addition to the nine frigates, the BIW backlog includes construction of a containership for Matson Navigation Company, two containerships for American Export Lines, and completion of the roll-on/roll-off mixed cargo carrier Illinois, which was launched last December for States Steamship Company.

Included in the backlog figure are major overhaul contracts on the fast frigates Brumby, Beary and Brown, with an option on a third ship in the same class. BIW is also nearing completion of overhaul on the Navy's 800-foot high-speed support ship Detroit.

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