BATH, Maine — The future USS Zumwalt, a nearly $4 billion stealth destroyer being built at Bath Iron Works, will be christened on Saturday, April 12.
The christening was originally scheduled for Oct. 19, 2013, but was postponed due to the government shutdown.
The first of three DDG 1000 destroyers under construction at the Bath shipyard, the 610-foot Zumwalt’s primary function is land attack — to provide missile and gun support for troops ashore, according to Todd Estes, manager of the DDG 1000 program office at BIW.
The “tumblehome” hull of the DDG 1000 also is distinct, designed to “pierce” waves, according to the Navy. The superstructure shape and arrangement of the antennas are designed to make the ship far less visible to enemy radar. The destroyer also features a new, multifunction radar system.
The Zumwalt honors Navy Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., who became the 19th chief of naval operations in 1970. He died in Durham, N.C., on Jan. 2, 2000.
While still in the planning stages, the christening will likely draw thousands of people, BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini said Tuesday, including Zumwalt’s two daughters, the ship’s co-sponsors.
The destroyer is due to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in late 2014, after which it will undergo combat systems activation, tests and trials and likely reach initial operating capacity in 2016.