The U.S. Navy on Saturday christened the first ship of its newest class of destroyers, 610-foot-long warship, the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine.
The lead ship and class are named in honor of former Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., who served as the 19th CNO from 1970-1974.
U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, delivered remarks at the christening of USS Zumwalt. In his remarks, Senator King praised the talented men and women of BIW for their extraordinary work in building the next generation warship.
Senator King said:
“The launch, christening and commissioning of a great warship are acts of audacity, courage and confidence – made all the more so when that ship is the first of its kind in the world. She is an audacious statement by her draftsmen and designers, by her builders – and by builders I mean the men and women who pulled the pipes, welded the great hull, aligned the shaft and did those thousands – no, did those millions of other tasks – which took her from conception to this terrifying reality. She is also an act of courage by those who conceived her, by those who saw her role in the future of our navy, and those who will soon board her with the prospect of conflict and confrontation ever-present.”
The Zumwalt-class destroyer represents the next-generation of multi-mission surface combatants and will enable access in the open ocean, littoral and ashore.
DDG 1000 is the first U.S. Navy surface combatant to employ an innovative and highly survivable Integrated Power System which will provide power to propulsion, ship’s service, and combat system loads from the same gas turbine prime movers.
The ship features two advanced gun systems firing long-range land attack projectiles that reach up to 63 nautical miles, providing precision, high volume and persistent fire support to forces ashore, along with an approximate five-fold improvement in naval surface fire range.
Construction on Zumwalt, the first of three destroyers, commenced in February 2009, with the keel laying ceremony held in November 2011, and ship launch successfully completed in October 2013.
The ship is expected to join the fleet in 2016.
April 13, 2014