General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine has laid the keel of the third and final ship in the U.S. Navy’s Zumwalt-class of high-tech and high-powered destroyers.
The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) is named in honor of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States. President Johnson’s daughters, Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson are the ship sponsors. A special steel plate containing the initials of the sisters was prepared for the ceremony. Assisted by Timothy Trask, a 30-year Bath Iron Works welder, the sponsors authenticated the laying of the keel by striking welding arcs onto the steel plate.
The DDG 1001, to be named USS Michael Monsoor, is more than half completed at Bath Iron Works. Earlier this winter the keel unit, a 4,000-ton module, was moved onto the building ways from the shipyard’s Ultra Hall construction facility, signifying the start of hull integration and the pre-cursor to integration, test and trials.
The USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) was delivered to the U.S. Navy in May 2016 and is currently undergoing Mission Systems Activation at her new homeport in San Diego.
The Zumwalt-class is described as the U.S. the Navy’s next-generation of multi-mission surface combatants. The 610-foot ships feature a wave-piercing tumblehome hull design and reduced radar cross section, making the ship less visible to enemy radar at sea. Including research and development costs, the three Zumwalt destroyers are estimated to cost about $22.5 billion.