BATH, Maine - The newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Spruance (DDG 111), sailed away from the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine Sept. 1 on its maiden voyage to her commissioning site in Key West, Fla. before heading to her eventual homeport of San Diego, Calif.
This milestone marks the government and industry teams' completion of DDG 111, the 61st Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
Prior to reaching this milestone, Spruance finished combined "super trials" March 18 in the Gulf of Maine. Throughout four days underway, Bath Iron Works and the U.S. Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey tested the ship and its systems as required to prove its operational readiness. The Navy accepted delivery of Spruance Apr. 15, representing the official transfer from the shipbuilder to the Navy and a major milestone in Spruance's transition to operational status. The commissioning of USS Spruance is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2011.
"Spruance is a masterful piece of Maine craftsmanship that my crew and I are honored to sail," said Cmdr. Tate Westbrook, the ship's commanding officer. "We're excited to join the fleet with this outstanding ship to support the nation's naval interests at home and abroad."
Spruance is the first new construction Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to have a modernized machinery control system installed. This system minimizes obsolescence issues by leveraging open architecture, thereby helping to reduce total ownership costs.
"Hundreds of people have devoted themselves to the construction of this ship over the last four years," said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager in the Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "Spruance has proven her superior combat capability and survivability features, and now her crew is eager to take her to sea to join the fleet. Cmdr. Tate Westbrook and his crew have done an exceptional job in preparing for this event."
The ship is named for Adm. Raymond Spruance, who led U.S. Navy forces in the Battle of Midway and the Battle of the Philippine Sea in World War II. Previously, Spruance's name was on the lead ship of the former Spruance class of destroyers.
Spruance is a multi-mission guided-missile destroyer designed to operate in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface environments. The ship is equipped with the Navy's Aegis Combat System, the world's foremost integrated naval weapon system. The class provides outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics while minimizing procurement and lifetime support costs due to the program's maturity. The DDG 51 program continues to reinforce affordability and efficiency with a commitment to deliver ships at the highest possible quality.
Michael Murphy (DDG 112) is currently under construction at Bath Iron Works and will deliver in fiscal year 2012. DDG 111 and DDG 112 are the last two ships in the Navy's initial production run of this class. DDG 113, to be built by Huntington Ingalls Industry in Pascagoula, Miss., will be the first of the DDG 51 program continuation ships.
PEO Ships is currently managing the design and construction of all U.S. Navy destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, as well as a wide range of small boats and craft for U.S. agencies and allied nations. Since its creation in November 2002, PEO Ships has delivered more than 40 major warships and hundreds of small boats and craft from more than 20 shipyards and boat builders across the United States.