BATH, Maine — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Monday that the next Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, the DDG 120, will be named for former U.S. Sen. Carl M. Levin of Michigan.
The future USS Carl M. Levin will be built at Bath Iron Works and is scheduled to join the Navy fleet in 2020, according to a release from Mabus’ office.
Levin is the longest-serving senator in Michigan history, serving 36 years in the U.S. Senate and serving as chairman of the Armed Services Committee for more than nine years, as well as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He was a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and he led the Senate in adoption of the Defense Authorization Acts from 2007 through January 2015, when he retired.
“It is a great honor to name this ship in recognition of such a dedicated public servant,” Mabus said in the release. “I have no doubt that all who serve aboard her will carry on the legacy of service and commitment exemplified by Carl Levin during his storied career.”
“My family and I are deeply moved by this singular honor and to be so wonderfully connected to the men and women of our great Navy,” Levin said in the release.
Only BIW and Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, build the Arleigh Burkes for the Navy. BIW is currently building four DDG 51 destroyers. The DDG 115, the future USS Rafael Peralta, was christened in October 2015.
Work on the DDG 116, the future USS Thomas Hudner, began in November 2012, and construction of the future USS Daniel Inouye, the DDG 118, began in April 2015 (the latter also is named after a former U.S. senator). Construction of the DDG 120 began in the fall of 2015, BIW spokesman Matt Wickenheiser said.
The shipyard has three additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyers under contract and in December 2015, the Department of Defense announced that an additional DDG 51 destroyer would be awarded to BIW under terms of a 2002 memorandum of understanding among the Navy, BIW and Northrop Grumman.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that three DDG 51 destroyers are currently under construction at Bath Iron Works. Four of the Arleigh Burkes are under construction, including the future USS Carl M. Levin.