BATH, Maine - The start of fabrication of the future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) was celebrated at the Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard Oct. 31.
This first major ship milestone symbolizes that the first 100 tons of steel for the ship have been cut and was marked with a ceremony held in the shipyard’s fabrication shop.
“Construction on Arleigh Burke class destroyers is in full swing on the East and Gulf Coasts,” said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “The restart DDG 51s benefit from a mature and stable design with increased air and missile defense capabilities. These build on a legacy of success, providing outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics.”
The ceremony came just a day after BIW ceremoniously laid the keel for the future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), and a month following the start of fabrication on the future USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
DDG 118 will be equipped with the Navy's Aegis Combat System, the world's foremost integrated naval weapon system. This system delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased electronic countermeasures capability for Anti-Air Warfare. The ship is part of the Navy’s latest flight of destroyer, Flight IIA, which enables power projection, forward presence, and escort operations at sea in support of Low Intensity Conflict/Coastal and Littoral Offshore Warfare as well as open ocean conflict.
First in class ship, USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) was laid down at the BIW shipyard in 1988. Since, BIW and HII have laid keels for an additional 67 Arleigh Burke class destroyers including DDG 118. Destroyers have been a mainstay of the Navy’s surface fleet since the first U.S. Navy destroyer, USS Bainbridge, was commissioned in 1902. Able to operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups, today’s destroyers provide the Fleet with multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities.
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.