General Dynamics Bath Iron Works Lays Keel of DDG 1000, First Zumwalt-class Destroyer

BATH, Maine – On Thurs­day, Novem­ber 17, Gen­er­al Dynam­ics Bath Iron Works cel­e­brat­ed the keel lay­ing of Zumwalt (DDG 1000), the first ship in the planned three-ship Zumwalt class of guid­ed-mis­sile destroy­ers. The keel unit is the 4,000-ton, heav­i­ly out­fit­ted mid-fore­body sec­tion of the ship, which was moved from the shipyard’s Ultra Hall con­struc­tion facil­i­ty onto the build­ing ways in late Octo­ber.

The ship is named for ADM Elmo Zumwalt (1920–2000), regard­ed as the father of the mod­ern Navy. He served with dis­tinc­tion on destroy­ers dur­ing WWII in the Pacif­ic and lat­er over­saw lit­toral oper­a­tions dur­ing the Viet­nam War. In 1970, he was named the youngest-ever chief of naval oper­a­tions. He applied his vast knowl­edge of sailors and ships to mod­ern­ize the U.S. Navy, intro­duc­ing major pol­i­cy changes to boost morale and cre­ate greater effi­cien­cy while also con­duct­ing a cam­paign against racism and sex­ism through­out the fleet.  

A spe­cial steel plate con­tain­ing the ini­tials of ADM Zumwalt’s four chil­dren, daugh­ters and ship co-spon­sors Ann Zumwalt and Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weath­ers, LtCol James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), and Elmo Zumwalt III, now deceased, was pre­pared for the cer­e­mo­ny. The co-spon­sors authen­ti­cat­ed the lay­ing of the keel by strik­ing weld­ing arcs onto the steel plate, assist­ed by Carl Pepin, a 33-year BIW welder.

The prin­ci­pal speak­er was RDML Ann C. Phillips, USN, Direc­tor Sur­face War­fare Divi­sion, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Oper­a­tions.  

Jeff Geiger, Bath Iron Works pres­i­dent, said, “We were pleased to have mem­bers of the Zumwalt fam­i­ly and dis­tin­guished Navy rep­re­sen­ta­tives with us to com­mem­o­rate this impor­tant mile­stone in the con­struc­tion of this ship.”  
 
The DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroy­er is the U.S. Navy’s next-gen­er­a­tion, guid­ed-mis­sile naval destroy­er, lead­ing the way for a new gen­er­a­tion of advanced mul­ti-mis­sion sur­face com­bat ships. The ships will fea­ture a low radar pro­file, an inte­grat­ed pow­er sys­tem and a total ship com­put­ing envi­ron­ment infra­struc­ture. Armed with an array of weapons, the Zumwalt-class destroy­ers will pro­vide offen­sive, dis­trib­uted and pre­ci­sion fires in sup­port of forces ashore. Bath Iron Works is the lead design­er and builder for the pro­gram which employs approx­i­mate­ly 5,500 peo­ple.

More infor­ma­tion about Gen­er­al Dynam­ics Bath Iron Works, a sub­sidiary of Gen­er­al Dynam­ics (NYSE: GD), can be found at www.gdbiw.com.

More infor­ma­tion about Gen­er­al Dynam­ics is avail­able at www.gdbiw.com.