US Navy christening final Zumwalt-class destroyer in Maine

The US Navy is to christen its third and final Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), in a ceremony at the General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine.

Future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) ahead of its launch at General Dynamic-Bath Iron Works. Photo: General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works/ US Navy

The ceremony is set for Saturday, April 27.

DDG 1002 is named in honor of US president Lyndon B. Johnson, who served in office from 1963-1969, and will be the first ship to bear his name.

Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Johnson, the two daughters of the former president, will serve as the ship’s sponsors.

The ship is being christened after its launch in December 2018. The first two ships in the class, USS Zumwalt and USS Michael Monsoor entered service in October 2016 and January 2019, respectively.

“The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson will serve for decades as a reminder of President Johnson’s service to our nation and support of a strong Navy and Marine Corps team,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “This ship honors not only President Johnson’s service, but also the service of our industry partners who are vital in making the Navy the nation needs.”

Johnson served as a US Navy Reserve officer before being called to active duty after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He requested a combat assignment and served in the Pacific theater. After returning from active duty, Johnson reported to Navy leaders and Congress what he believed were deplorable living conditions for the warfighters. He continued to fight for better standards for all military members.

The multi-mission Zumwalt-class destroyers 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. Zumwalt ships are 610 feet (182m) long, displace almost 16,000 tons, and are capable of making 30 knots speed.

The destroyers feature an integrated power system (IPS) capable of providing approximately 78 megawatts of electric power for propulsion and ship services. They also have a wave-piercing tumblehome hull and a stealth design which reportedly gives them a radar section of a fishing boat.

The U.S. Navy initially intended to build 32 of these ships but due to cost overruns, the number of vessels to be constructed was reduced to three.