AUGUSTA (AP) – The Navy has awarded Bath Iron Works a contract worth more than $336 million for destroyer design and construction, Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said Tuesday.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the funds will enable BIW to complete final design work in advance of construction slated for next year.

Collins said the Pentagon will release an additional $78 million for detail design work later this year.

“This is a very significant contract for BIW and for its skilled work force. These funds represent a major milestone in the DD(X) program, our Navy, and our national security,” Collins said in a statement.

“After many years of moving toward the design and construction of the DDG destroyers, this is a good day for not only Bath Iron Works and the state of Maine, but for the United States Navy and the American people,” Snowe said in a statement. “These ships will provide the backbone of American naval supremacy for generations to come.”

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