Christening ceremony in Bath, Maine
The christening ceremony in Bath, Maine. Courtesy General Dynamics

The Navy christened the third and likely final ship in the futuristic Zumwalt class of guided-missile destroyers in a ceremony on Saturday at General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works in Maine.

The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, named for America’s 36th President, will join the USS Zumwalt and USS Michael Monsoor, in San Diego.

Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Johnson, the two daughters of the former president, christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

“The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson will serve for decades as a reminder of President Johnson’s service to our nation and support of a strong Navy and Marine Corps team,” said Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer. “This ship honors not only President Johnson’s service, but also the service of our industry partners who are vital in making the Navy the nation needs.”

President Johnson served as a Navy Reserve officer before being called to active duty after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He requested a combat assignment and served in the Pacific theater.

The stealthy Zumwalt-class ships are considerably larger than other destroyers, with a length of 610 feet, beam of 81 feet and displacement of almost 16,000 tons. The are armed with 80 missiles and an advanced, long-range gun that has faced development problems.

A total of 32 ships were originally planned, but the program was cut to just three vessels because of cost overruns.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.