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Bath Iron Works launches Navy’s final Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer

The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson is made ready Saturday before its dry dock at Bath Iron Works, Maine, was flooded and the Zumwalt-class destroyer launched.

COURTESY U.S. NAVY

By CHRISTIAN LOPEZ | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 12, 2018

The third and final Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer was launched from the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, the Navy announced recently.

The destroyer, scheduled to be christened the USS Lyndon B. Johnson next year, now begins its final outfitting at the Maine shipyard.

The 610-foot-long ship, launched Saturday, has a stealth design, state-of-the-art electric propulsion system and wave-piercing tumblehome hull to help the Navy evolve with new systems and missions, according to a Navy statement Tuesday.

Launching a ship is the process of moving it from a land facility to a dry dock, which is then flooded until the ship is afloat, according to the statement.

“With the first two ships of the class underway, we are excited to continue the next phase of construction of the future Lyndon B. Johnson,” said Capt. Kevin Smith, DDG 1000 program manager for Program Executive Office Ships.

The USS Zumwalt, commissioned in October 2016, is the first and lead ship in the Zumwalt class.

The Johnson and its sister ships, the Zumwalt and the soon-to-be christened USS Michael Monsoor, are outfitted with the most advanced warfighting technology and weaponry available, which allow the Navy to perform sea control, power projection, deterrence, and command and control missions, the statement added.

“The crew of Lyndon B. Johnson looks forward to bringing this great warship honoring our 36th president to life, and we’re proud to have the opportunity to be present for this important step in the ship’s construction,” said Capt. Jeremy Gray, chosen to command the Lyndon B. Johnson. “It is truly impressive to see the ship afloat in the Kennebec River for the first time, and we look forward to taking her to sea.”

While the Johnson was prepared for its launch, the Monsoor on Dec. 8 finally reached its homeport in San Diego. During acceptance trials in July, the main turbine engine needed to be replaced following damage to its turbine blades, according to U.S. Naval Institute News.

The Monsoor is set to be commissioned into the fleet next month.

Lopez.christian@stripes.com
Twitter: @CLopez_Stripes

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