Construction work on the US Navy's second DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class multimission ship, USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), has started at General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works with the official keel laying and authentication ceremony.
The ship will be named to honour master-at-arms 2nd class Michael Monsoor (SEAL), who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during combat on 29 September 2006 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq.
Program Executive Office, Ships DDG 1000 programme manager captain Jim Downey said: "This extremely capable warship is a lasting tribute to petty officer Monsoor's bravery and sacrifice and will symbolise his strength and dedication for generations to come."
The Zumwalt-class guided-missile naval vessels will be armed with tactical tomahawk, standard missile SM-3 and the evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM) to provide offensive, distributed and precision fires in support of forces onshore.
Featuring a low radar profile, an integrated power system and total ship computing environment infrastructure, the 15,000t ships will operate as part of naval, joint or combined maritime forces and provide credible, independent forward presence and deterrence.
Construction on the 610ft-long USS Michael Monsoor began in March 2010 and is currently more than 60% complete.
Scheduled to be launched and christened in 2013, the first DDG 1000 vessel is due for delivery to the US Navy in 2014, with initial operations scheduled for 2016.
The second and third ships of the class, the future USS Michael Monsoor and the future USS Lyndon B Johnson are scheduled to be delivered to the navy in 2016 and 2018 respectively.