Littoral Combat Ship Independence, photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commonsby Chris Chase
Coastal Journal staff
BATH — BIW has received an additional $6.8 million for its work on the Littoral Combat Ship Independence (LCS-2).
The modification comes to an existing BIW contract, and has been awarded in order to do “advanced planning” and make modifications to the ship while it is at BIW.
According to Jim DeMartini, communications manager at BIW, a contract modification of this type is fairly routine for the Navy.
“This doesn’t represent new work; it just allows us to keep doing what we’re doing,” said DeMartini. “The Navy is constantly working to keep its ships’ technology up to date and fully outfitted and ready to go for whatever they want to do.”
This modernization and modification is an ongoing process in the Navy’s fleet, with even small changes requiring numerous levels of investigation and engineering to ensure that they will adequately suit the ship’s needs.
“Any change you make onboard a ship has the potential for impacting lots of spaces and adjacent areas of the ship. So the engineering and design has to be done very carefully so you don’t ‘upset things in the neighborhood,’” said DeMartini. “It’s not the same as, say, renovating a house.”
The contract modification is similar to the one that was awarded for BIW’s work on the DDG 51 programs. BIW was awarded $49 million in December for their work on that particular platform. That contract will keep 130 of BIW’s engineers, designers and planners engaged in the DDG-51 program, according to a BIW press release.
Making critical changes to existing ship designs is an significant part of BIW’s mission.
“It’s something that BIW as a company has been doing for many many many years. And we’re glad to be able to continue it,” said DeMartini.