BATH, Maine, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The keel for the U.S. Navy's DDG 1000, the first Zumwalt class destroyer, was laid last week by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine.
The Zumwalt class destroyer is the Navy's next-generation guided-missile naval destroyer, featuring a low radar profile, an integrated power system and a total ship computing environment infrastructure. The destroyers will carry an array of weapons and will provide support of forces ashore.
Two additional Zumwalt class destroyers are to be built. Bath Iron Works is the lead designer and builder for the program.
General Dynamics said the 4,000-ton keel had been moved in October from the shipyard's construction facility onto the building ways.
The ship is named for the late Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, who modernized the Navy while Chief of Naval Operations from 1970-74. Zumwalt had served on destroyers during WWII and later oversaw the Navy's littoral operations during the Vietnam War.
General Dynamics Bath Iron Works said 5,500 employees are involved in the Zumwalt class destroyer program.