Bath Iron Works has a long and proud history ranging from 1884 to present day. Following is a brief compilation of some events:
The Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard, located on the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine, is the namesake of an iron foundry established in 1826. Brevet General Thomas W. Hyde, US Army (Ret) took over the foundry in 1865, following service with the 20th Maine Regiment during the Civil War. Nearly two decades later, he incorporated his diversified marine business interests as Bath Iron Works, Limited in 1884, before expanding into shipbuilding with the acquisition of the Goss Marine Iron Works in 1888. The first BIW-built vessel was a coastal passenger ship named Cottage City built for the Maine Steamship Co. Since the completion of Hull #1 in 1890, BIW has been awarded more than 425 shipbuilding contracts, including 245 military ships (mostly destroyers and frigates for the US Navy) and over 160 private yachts and commercial vessels. BIW became a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Dynamics in September 1995.
In terms of modern US Navy surface combatant programs, the Lead Ship construction contract for the FFG 7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class of guided missile frigates was awarded to BIW in 1973 and 24 of these surface combatants were delivered over the next 15 years. In 1982, the Navy selected BIW as second-source shipbuilder for the CG 47 Ticonderoga Class of AEGIS guided missile cruisers. The company went on to win contracts for eight of these warships, delivering the last one in 1993. In 1985 BIW won the competition for detail design and construction of DDG 51 (USS Arleigh Burke), the Lead Ship for the Navy’s newest, most capable class of AEGIS guided missile destroyers. BIW has delivered the lead ship and follow ships, with delivery of the last follow ship expected in 2010.
As the 21st century began, BIW solidified its industry leadership position by teaming with the City of Bath and the State of Maine in a long-term capital investment plan. With the modernization complete in 2001, BIW began building ships in its new state-of-the-art facility. These improvements will enable the company to offer unprecedented productivity, quality and affordability to our customer.