BATH, Maine — Seven years after Bath Iron Works began work on the next-generation Zumwalt-class destroyer, the U.S. Navy on Friday accepted delivery of the first-in-class DDG 1000.
Construction of the class of “stealth destroyers,” which was truncated at three ships, will cost an estimated $12.74 billion.
“Today the U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the most technically complex and advanced warship the world has ever seen,” U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Jim Downey, DDG 1000 program manager, wrote in his blog about what he called “the world’s greatest ship.”
A crew of 143 already has begun moving onto the 610-foot destroyer, which will remain at Bath Iron Works for a crew certification period, with commissioning scheduled for Oct. 15 in Baltimore. The Zumwalt then will head to its home port of San Diego, according to the Navy.
“Zumwalt’s crew has diligently trained for months in preparation of this day and they are ready and excited to take charge of this ship on behalf of the U.S. Navy,” Capt. James Kirk, commanding officer of the future Zumwalt, said in a release. “These are 143 of our nation’s finest men and women who continue to honor Admiral Zumwalt’s namesake with their dedication to bringing this ship to life.”
The ship is named for Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, a decorated World War II veteran who became the youngest person to serve as U.S. chief of naval operations.
New technologies on the ship include a multifunction radar system designed to allow the ship to get closer to land without being detected, two advanced gun systems that fire projectiles up to 63 nautical miles, an integrated undersea/anti-submarine warfare detection system and a vertical launching system.
The “tumblehome” hull of the DDG 1000, which slopes inward as the ship rises out of the water, was designed to reduce detectability by radar.
The follow-on ships, the future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) also are under construction at the Bath shipyard.
The DDG 1001 is about 85 percent complete and is scheduled to be christened on June 18, according to BIW spokesman Matt Wickenheiser. The DDG 1002 is nearly half complete, with a keel laying ceremony scheduled for early 2017.