The third and last Zumwalt-class ship for the US Navy launched on Sunday at the General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Maine. Built as part of a US$1.826 billion contract, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) is one of the three largest destroyers ever built for the Navy and was floated over a period of several days by moving her to a drydock, which was then slowly flooded.

The launching of DDG 1002 comes at the same time as her sister ship, the future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), is transiting to San Diego Bay for her January 26 commissioning in Coronado, California. Originally the third of a fleet of 32 Zumwalt-class destroyers, cancellation of the building program leaves the future USS Lyndon B Johnson as the last of her class.

DDG 1002 is named after the 36th US president and is a multi-mission destroyer capable of deterrence, power projection, sea control, and command and control missions. Her distinct tumblehome hull and superstructure is designed to provide added stealth and she boasts an all-electric propulsion system, state-of-the art vertical launch missile systems and advanced computing capabilities.

The Zumwalt-class is also notable for having two 35.4-MW Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines driving Curtiss-Wright electric generators supplemented by two 3.8-MW Rolls-Royce RR4500 turbine generators providing 78 MW of generating capacity – comparable to a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. This not only allows the ship to run all its system on electricity, but provides enough surplus for next-generation directed energy weapons or rail guns.

DDG 1002 is currently being outfitted and readied for sea trials leading up to her commissioning in the first half of 2019.

"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," says Captain Jeremy Gray, prospective commanding officer, DDG 1002. "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."

Source: US Navy

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