Bath Iron Works is seen in this May 18, 2017, file photo. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

Bath Iron Works has a better chance of securing a contract to design and build frigates for the U.S. Navy because one of its competitors is dropping out of the running.

The Bath shipyard, Austal USA of Alabama, Huntington Ingalls of Mississippi, Lockheed Martin of Baltimore and Fincantieri Marinette Marine of Wisconsin all received invitations to submit concept designs to build the next generation of the ships. Lockheed Martin has decided not to move forward.

The Times Record reports the Navy wants to purchase 20 of the frigates. The contractor that wins the bid would be expected to produce two of the warships per year from 2021 to 2029. The warships are expected to cost about $900 million each, making the contract very lucrative for the winning bidder.