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"Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) handed over its second and final composite deckhouse for the US Navy's (USN's) Zumwalt-class destroyer programme on 7 August.
HII's Gulfport Composite Center of Excellence based in Gulfport, Mississippi, manufactured the 900-tonne carbon fibre composite deck, which is to be barged up to Bath, Maine, where prime contractor General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (GDBIW) will integrate it onto the steel hull of second-in-class Zumwalt destroyer Michael Monsoor(DDG 1001).
Gulfport also produced the ship's 220-tonne composite hangar, which was delivered to the navy on 25 September 2013 and subsequently transported up to Bath.
As expected, HII has shuttered its Gulfport facility due to declining naval work in composites. The company was to have built a third deckhouse and hangar for the Zumwalt programme, but navy officials opted to return to an all-steel superstructure design on the third and final ship of the class, Lyndon B Johnson (DDG 1002), after failed price negotiations with HII. The USN subsequently awarded a USD212 million design and construction contract to GDBIW, the programme's prime contractor, on 2 August 2013.
USN programme officials previously told IHS Jane's that part of the decision was based on a decrease in the overall weight of the Zumwalt-class ships, which allowed the navy to revert to a steel deckhouse and hangar design.
The USN is acquiring a three-ship Zumwalt class. Lead ship Zumwalt (DDG 1000), which is being completed and tested at GDBIW, is expected to reach initial operational capability in 2016."