Bath Iron Works handed over the future USS Daniel Inouye, shown here leaving for at-sea trials last December, to the Navy on Monday. Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record

The Navy took ownership of the future USS Daniel Inouye, a Bath-built Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, on Monday, according to a statement from the Navy.

The roughly $1 billion Inouye is the 37th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer that Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of aerospace and defense company General Dynamics, has built for the Navy.

“Delivering (the future USS Daniel Inouye) to the Navy is a major milestone that everyone at the shipyard can be proud of,” BIW Spokesperson David Hench wrote in a statement Tuesday. “This ship will be an important addition to the Navy fleet. It also represents an important accomplishment in our ongoing efforts to improve schedule performance and position ourselves for additional work in support of our Navy customer.”

Arleigh Burkes are 513 feet long and 66 feet wide, with a displacement of about 9,200 tons and can reach speeds over 30 knots, according to the shipyard.

“This highly capable platform will deliver the necessary combat power and proven capacity as the ship joins the world’s greatest Navy,” Capt. Seth Miller, an Arleigh Burke program manager for a department of the Navy, wrote in a statement Tuesday. “(The future USS Daniel Inouye) will continue to honor the legacy of its namesake and ‘Go For Broke’ for decades to come as it supports our Country.”

Christened in June 2019, the ship completed two rounds of at-sea trials, the second of which was completed early last month.


Once it leaves the shipyard, the destroyer’s homeport will be Pearl City, Hawaii, its namesake’s home state. Hench said Tuesday the ship is expected to leave Bath “in several months.”

Born in Hawaii in 1924, Daniel Inouye became a war hero for his bravery in World War II and later went on to represent Hawaii as the first Japanese-American elected to Congress. He served in the US Senate for 50 years and was the second-longest-serving senator in history. He died in 2012 after representing Hawaii since it became the 50th state in 1962.

During World War II, Inouye served in the Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made of soldiers of Japanese ancestry. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart with Cluster for his bravery in battle, which cost him his right arm. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The future USS Inouye is the first ship to be completed and handed over to the Navy following significant production delays worsened by a nine-week union strike and the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also the first ship the company sent down the Kennebec River for sea trials in two years, Hench wrote in a December statement.

“It represents our future as a shipyard, not just because this ship is an important and much-needed asset for the U.S. Navy fleet, but also because it demonstrates the commitment by our workforce and company management to increase our shipbuilding rate to two ships per year, a crucial part of our Three Year Schedule Recovery Plan that is well underway,” Hench wrote in December statement.

While the company has closed the books on the Inouye, the future Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Carl M. Levin, John Basilone, Harvey C. Barnum, Patrick Gallagher, Louis H. Wilson, Jr., and William Charette remain under construction.

The shipyard is also wrapping up the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, the third and final Zumwalt-class destroyer, part of a truncated program of larger, technologically advanced stealth vessels. The Navy is expected to take ownership of the Zumwalt later this year, Hench said on Tuesday.

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