Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy this picture of General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works (BIW) laying the keel of the USS Zumwalt, DDG-1000, recenlty in Bath, Maine. The Zumwalt class is the Navy’s first new class of destroyer in a generation and is a pretty revolutionary change in the design of large U.S. surface combatants.
Now, the picture above doesn’t show a traditional keel-laying. It shows the 4,000-ton, “heavily outfitted mid-forebody section of the ship,” being moved from BIW’s Ultra Hall construction facility onto the shipbuilding ways on Oct. 22.
BIW officially celebrated the keel-laying yesterday, according to a press release describing the ships as:
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.
One of the coolest things about the Zumwalt class ships — that feature the crazy wave-piercine tumblehome hull design that went out of style on U.S. Navy ships around the turn of the 20th Century — is the fact that they are going to be equipped with the biggest Navy’s biggest guns since the Iowa-class battleships were retired.
As DT previously wrote:
The 155-mm Advanced Gun System (AGS), which will be the largest shipboard gun in the fleet. Each DDG 1000 will have two of these weapons, developed by BAE Systems, which will fire Lockheed Martin’s Long-Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP). That “bullet” has a range goal of 83 nautical miles and a rate of fire of ten rounds-per-minute.