Original article appears courtesy of U.S. Navy
The keel of the future USS Carl M. Levin (DDG 120) was ceremoniously laid at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard, Feb. 1.
Speakers at the ceremony included Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, the ship’s namesake, former Sen. Carl Levin, and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden.
Sen. Levin and the ship’s sponsors, his three daughters, Kate Levin Markel, Erica Levin, and Laura Levin, authenticated the keel by etching their initials into the keel plate to symbolically recognize the joining of modular components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.
“We are honored to be celebrating this milestone with Sen. Levin, Mrs. Levin, their daughters, and so many distinguished guests,” said Capt. Casey Moton, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “This has been a special occasion to lay the keel for our Nation’s 70th Arleigh Burke destroyer, and to do so with a namesake that shares the same sense of purpose and commitment to service as our sailors.”
The ship’s namesake served in the U.S. Senate for 36 years from 1979-2015. As the longest serving senator in Michigan state history, Levin became a staunch supporter of the armed services through his work and leadership as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
DDG 120 will be built in the Flight IIA configuration with the Aegis Baseline 9 Combat System which includes Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability. This system delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased electronic countermeasures capability for Anti-Air Warfare. Delivery to the fleet is planned for Fiscal Year 2021.
These multi-mission surface combatants serve as integral assets in global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense, as well as providing increased capabilities in anti-submarine warfare, command and control, and anti-surface warfare.
In addition to Carl M. Levin (DDG 120), BIW has four additional Arleigh Burke class destroyers under construction – Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), John Basilone (DDG 122), Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124) and Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127), as well as the Zumwalt class destroyer Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002). BIW is under contract for an additional six Arleigh Burke class destroyers that will all be constructed in the Flight III configuration with enhanced Air and Missile Defense capabilities.
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.