Maine’s Bath Iron Works and two other shipyards have been given the green light to proceed with design work on an offshore patrol cutter for the Coast Guard.

Two other shipbuilders protested the fixed-cost contract that went to Bath Iron Works, Bollinger Shipyards in Louisiana and Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. in Florida.

The Coast Guard announced Wednesday that its decision was upheld by the Government Accountability Office.

The ships are meant to replace the Coast Guard’s aging fleet of 210-foot and 270-foot cutters.

The Coast Guard was expected to pick up to three preliminary designs early this year, but the process came to a halt when protests were filed in February. Construction is expected in fiscal year 2017.

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