Negotiated defense budget boosts spending for Navy destroyer

December 8, 2021 GMT

(AP) — A defense spending proposal approved by the U.S. House of Representatives includes two more destroyers than what the Biden administration requested.

The Biden administration originally proposed cutting one of two destroyers contained in a multi-year contract, causing alarm for Maine’s Bath Iron Works. A new proposal by congressional negotiators restored not only the second ship but added a third vessel.

The House approved the defense authorization bill Tuesday night. The Senate will likely vote on it next week.

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, said the Biden proposal for building just one ship next year would’ve broken a multi-year contract. “It could have led to significant layoffs at BIW,” said Golden, who fought for the proposal to increase shipbuilding.

Ramping up construction of destroyers is important as the U.S. Navy faces growing competition from China and Russia, the Navy says.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are built by Bath Iron Works in Maine and Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi.