U.S. Sen. Susan Collins joined Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works President Jeffrey Geiger to start the fabrication of DDG 1002 during a ceremony at the BIW shipyard in Bath, Maine, April 4.
The ship’s design maturity and production readiness, the availability of materials and components, and the shipbuilder’s ability to successfully start fabrication were all closely reviewed prior to start of fabrication. The Navy has certified that all facilities, processes and materials are ready for cutting the first piece of steel and continuing with steady production of the ship.
“This event is a testament to the tremendous levels of design and production planning that has defined the DDG 1000 program,” said Capt. Jim Downey, DDG 1000 program manager for the Program Executive Office, Ships. “In just over three years since the start of fabrication on the first ship, major portions of Zumwalt (DDG 1000) are complete and assembled on the Land Level Transfer Facility while the second ship, Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), is over 25 percent complete. We look forward to building on the superb construction progress the program has achieved to date and delivering this very capable warship.”
Designed for sustained operations in the littorals and land attack, the multi-mission DDG 1000 class destroyers will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces, and operate as an integral part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. This warship integrates numerous critical technologies, systems, and principles into a complete warfighting system. These include employment of optimal manning through human systems integration, improved quality of life, low operations and support costs, multi-spectral signature reduction, balanced warfighting design, survivability, and adaptability.
“DDG 1000 is a vessel that fits within our Defense Strategic Guidance. With its stealth, incredibly capable sonar system, strike capability, and lower manning requirements – this is our future” said Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations.
Construction began on the first-of-class Zumwalt in February 2009, which is currently more than 65 percent complete and scheduled to deliver to the Navy in fiscal year 2014. Construction on the second ship of the class, Michael Monsoor, began in 2010 with delivery planned in fiscal year 2016. DDG 1002 is expected to deliver to the Navy in fiscal year 2018.
The Zumwalt-class ships are being built with modern, modular shipbuilding methods, allowing for construction of much larger units with greater degrees of outfitting achieved prior to ship assembly.
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft. Currently, the majority of shipbuilding programs managed by PEO Ships are benefiting from serial production efficiencies, which are critical to delivering ships on cost and schedule.
Naval Today Staff , April 06, 2012; Image: navy