The Senate Armed Services Committee’s first markup of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes $ 3.7 billion to fund the construction of two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, contrary to the President’s previous call for a single vessel.
The National Defense Authorization Act is an annual law that dictates how federal funds are to be used by the Department of Defense. It funds military equipment, including Navy ships, but not companies with which to contract.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are made by just two shipyards: Bath Iron Works and Mississippi-based Huntington Ingalls, which compete for Navy contracts.
The legislature is also authorizing $ 125 million to fund long-lead material for a third Arleigh Burke in 2023.
“This year’s National Defense Authorization Act is an incredibly strong bipartisan bill that will strengthen United States national security and ensure that Maine’s workforce remains a key contributor,” said Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a statement. Friday. “One of the most important provisions of the Defense Bill is the authorization of two DDG-51 Flight III destroyers, bringing the legislation into line with the multi-year supply contract previously agreed by the Navy and shipyards. , including Bath Iron Works. “
Although King and the rest of the Maine delegation openly supported the funding of two Arleigh Burkes over the coming year, President Biden’s military budget proposal reduced the number of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers from two to a.
King wrote on Friday that continuing to build more Arleigh Burkes is “absolutely essential to national security” for two reasons: keeping business stable for the country’s shipyards maintains the industrial base and developing the navy to compete with adversaries like China, whose navy prevails over that of the United States.
According to King, the legislation also provides support for a new multi-year supply of destroyers from 2023 “to support the industrial shipbuilding base and the expansion of the Navy’s combat force to levels mandated by Congress.”
BIW had previously called for another multi-year shipbuilding contract to keep business going and avoid layoffs before the Navy’s next type of ship was ready to be built.
Beyond shipbuilding legislation, the National Defense Authorization Act authorizes a 2.7% wage increase for members of the military service and civilian workforce of the Department of Defense, according to a statement from King. It also grants 12 weeks of parental leave to military personnel upon the birth, adoption or foster care of a child.
This story will be updated.
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