"This is a special day, as it marks a milestone in the construction of a ship, a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of shipbuilding -- an event that's been done for hundreds of years in this region and for more than 120 years here at Bath Iron Works," said Brent West, DDG 1000 program manager for Bath Iron Works.
"Over the next two years, we will continue to build the Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) with knowledge and expertise honed over the decades."
The keel unit is the 4,400-ton, heavily outfitted mid-forebody section of the ship. It was moved from the shipyard's Ultra Hall construction facility earlier in the month onto the building ways.
The DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyer is a next-generation, guided-missile naval destroyer with a low radar profile, an integrated power system and a total ship computing environment infrastructure.
The ship is named for Petty Officer Second Class Michael Monsoor, a U.S. Navy SEAL who was killed in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006.