A keel laying and authentication ceremony for the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) was held on January 30 at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine.
DDG 1002 is the final ship in the Zumwalt destroyer class and is already nearly 60 percent complete. While the keel laying has traditionally represented the formal start of a ship's construction, advanced modular shipbuilding allows fabrication of the ship to begin months in advance. Today, the keel laying continues to symbolically recognize the joining of the ship's components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.
The selection of Lyndon B. Johnson honors the nation’s 36th president and continues the Navy tradition of naming ships after presidents. DDG 1002 start of fabrication took place on April 4, 2012.
The keel was authenticated by Johnson's daughters and ship co-sponsors, Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson, by welding their initials into the keel plate.
Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyers feature a state-of-the-art electric propulsion system, wave-piercing tumblehome hull, stealth design, and are equipped with the most advanced warfighting technology and weaponry. These ships will be capable of performing a range of deterrence, power projection, sea control, and command and control missions while allowing the Navy to evolve with new systems and missions.
The destroyers are the first U.S. Navy surface combatant to employ an innovative and highly survivable Integrated Power System. Key design features that make the architecture unique include the ability to provide power to propulsion, ship's service, and combat system loads from the same gas turbine prime movers. This power allocation flexibility allows for potentially significant energy savings and is well-suited to enable future high energy weapons and sensors.
The wave-piercing Tumblehome ship design has provided a wide array of advancements. The composite superstructure significantly reduces cross section and acoustic output making the ships harder to detect by enemies at sea. The design also allows for optimal manning with a standard crew size of 175 sailors, with an air detachment of 28 thereby decreasing lifecycle operations and support costs.
The Zumwalt destroyers have a 50-fold radar cross section reduction compared to current destroyers, improves strike group defense 10-fold and have 10 times the operating area in shallow water regions against mines.
They employ active and passive sensors and a Multi-Function Radar capable of conducting area air surveillance, including over-land, throughout the extremely difficult and cluttered sea-land interface.
Each ship features a battery of two Advanced Gun Systems firing Long-Range Land Attack Projectiles that reach up to 63 nautical miles, providing a three-fold range improvement in naval surface fires coverage.
Bath Iron Works is currently in production on future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), as well as Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), and Carl M. Levin (DDG 120).
Length: 610 feet
Beam: 80.7 feet
Displacement: 15,656 L tons
Speed: 30 knots