BATH – Bath Iron Works, which is located on the Kennebec River in Bath, is one of three finalists that remain in competition to design and build a new generation of offshore patrol cutters for the United States Coast Guard.

Maine U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an Independent, announced that the Coast Guard on Tuesday had narrowed the field to three finalists, which includes BIW.

“The Offshore Patrol Cutter would not only be an excellent fit for BIW, but it would also create good jobs and be a substantial boost to Maine’s economy,” Collins and King said in a joint statement.

Collins, a senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the preliminary design contract is worth more than $21 million to BIW.

Bollinger Shipyards Lockport in Lockport, La., and Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc., in Panama City, Fla. also received preliminary design awards bringing the total value of the government award to $65 million.

BIW was one of eight shipyards that submitted proposals for the design of the vessel. Last Fall, the Coast Guard narrowed the group of finalists to five shipyards.

The Offshore Patrol Cutters will feature increased range and endurance, more powerful weapons, a larger flight deck as well as improved command, control, communications, computers, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.