BATH, Maine, April 11 (UPI) -- General Dynamics Bath Ironworks has begun construction of the U.S. Navy's third Zumwalt class destroyer, DDG 1002.
The Zumwalt destroyers are multi-mission vessels with a land-attack and littoral operations focus. They are 600 feet long and have a speed in excess of 35 miles per hour.
Construction on the first-of-class Zumwalt began in 2009 and it is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in 2014. Construction of the second ship started in 2010, with a delivery date of 2016. DDG 1002 is expected to be delivered in 2018.
"This event is a testament to the tremendous levels of design and production planning that has defined the DDG 1000 program," said Capt. Jim Downey, DDG 1000 program manager for the Program Executive Office, Ships, at a ceremony marking the start of construction.
"In just over three years since the start of fabrication on the first ship, major portions of Zumwalt (DDG 1000) are complete and assembled on the Land Level Transfer Facility while the second ship, Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), is over 25 percent complete.
"We look forward to building on the superb construction progress the program has achieved to date and delivering this very capable warship."
The ships are being built using modular shipbuilding methods, which allow for greater degrees of outfitting before assembly of the ship.