BATH, Maine — The second in a line of three Zumwalt-class “stealth” destroyers built by Bath Iron Works will be christened on Saturday, June 18, at the Bath shipyard.
The DDG 1001 Zumwalt-class destroyer is named for Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Iraq on Sept. 29, 2006, when the Navy SEAL threw himself onto a grenade in order to protect nearby members of his unit and others.
Monsoor’s mother, Sally Monsoor, is sponsor of the ship.
Retired Vice Adm. Joseph Maguire will be the principal speaker. Maguire is president and chief executive officer of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which provides full financial assistance for a post-secondary degree to children of U.S. military special operations personnel who have died in service to their country.
Also expected to speak are Vice Adm. Sean A. Pybus, deputy commander of Special Operations Command; Janine Davidson, undersecretary of the Navy; and all four members of Maine’s congressional delegation.
The DDG 1001 was about 85 percent complete in mid-May, when the Navy accepted the first Zumwalt-class destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, after a series of trials. The final ship in the line, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, was nearly half complete at the time, and a keel laying ceremony for the third ship is slated for early next year.
The line of destroyers, originally planned to replace DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, was truncated at three ships because of cost concerns. The Congressional Research Office reported in December that construction of the three Zumwalt-class destroyers will cost an estimated $12.74 billion in total.
When the Navy accepted the Zumwalt, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Jim Downey called it “the most technically complex and advanced warship the world has ever seen.”
New technologies on the destroyers include a wave-piercing, tumblehome hull — which slopes inward to the ship’s centerline as it rises out of the water — that reduces its detectability on radar, a composite superstructure, integrated electric-drive propulsion system and an advanced gun system to fire a new rocket-assisted 155 mm shell, called the Long Range Land Attack Projectile, more than 60 nautical miles, according to a May 20 report from the Congressional Research Service.
Maine peace activists announced on Thursday that they plan to protest outside the June 18 event, charging that the Zumwalt “is a provocative escalation of the already out-of-control arms race aimed at China.”
“Christ would not approve of his name being used to ‘bless’ such violence and the massive waste of the public treasury, especially when so many are hungry, homeless and without jobs and medical care,” a release from organizers of the planned protest states.
A legal demonstration with speakers and music is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon on Washington Street, just outside the shipyard.
The christening is slated to begin at 10 a.m.