BATH, Maine, Oct. 30 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy’s first Zumwalt-class destroyer, designed for littoral operations and land attack, has been launched by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works.
The ship was transferred from a land-level construction facility on Friday to a floating dry dock, which was then flooded. The ship was later floated off the dry dock and tied to a pier in the Kennebec River.
“This is the largest ship Bath Iron Works has ever constructed and the Navy’s largest destroyer,” said Capt. Jim Downey, the Zumwalt-class program manager for the Navy’s Program Executive Office, Ships. “The launch was unprecedented in both its size and complexity.”
The future USS Zumwalt is 600 feet in length, 80.7 feet in the beam, and displaces more than 14,700 tons. Powered by Rolls-Royce engines, it will have a speed of more than 30 knots.
Construction of the ship began in early 2009 and the Navy said it is now 87 percent complete and its delivery will take place late next year. The U.S. Navy will then conduct combat systems activation, tests and trials.