Shipbuilder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) on February 1 hosted a keel laying ceremony for the future USS Carl M. Levin (DDG 120) at its shipyard in Bath, Maine.
Sen. Levin and the ship’s sponsors, his three daughters, Kate Levin Markel, Erica Levin, and Laura Levin, authenticated the keel by etching their initials into the keel plate to symbolically recognize the joining of modular components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship construction.
“We are honored to be celebrating this milestone with Sen. Levin, Mrs. Levin, their daughters, and so many distinguished guests,” said Capt. Casey Moton, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “This has been a special occasion to lay the keel for our Nation’s 70th Arleigh Burke destroyer, and to do so with a namesake that shares the same sense of purpose and commitment to service as our sailors.”
The ship’s namesake served in the US Senate for 36 years from 1979-2015. As the longest serving senator in Michigan state history, Levin became a staunch supporter of the armed services through his work and leadership as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
DDG 120 will be built in the Flight IIA configuration with the Aegis Baseline 9 Combat System which includes Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability. Delivery to the fleet is planned for Fiscal Year 2021.
In addition to Carl M. Levin (DDG 120), BIW has four additional Arleigh Burke class destroyers under construction – Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), John Basilone (DDG 122), Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124) and Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127), as well as the Zumwalt class destroyer Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002).
BIW is under contract for an additional six Arleigh Burke class destroyers that will all be constructed in the Flight III configuration with enhanced air and missile defense capabilities.