General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) started the construction of the last Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124), for the U.S. Navy, at its shipyard in Bath, Maine on May 17, 2018.
The milestone, which signify the first 100 tons of steel being cut, was marked with a ceremony held in the shipyard’s fabrication shop. The ship’s namesake, Col. Harvey “Barney” Barnum, Jr. (ret.), was on hand to officially mark start of fabrication on the ship.
Harvey “Barney” Barnum, Jr. is a retired United States Marine Corps (USMC) officer who received the Medal of Honor for valor during the Vietnam War. Colonel Barnum served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Reserve Affairs) and as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).
The future USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. is expected to be commissioned in 2024. Once commissioned, DDG 124 will be the 74th overall and the last Flight IIA: Technology Insertion Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in service with the U.S. Navy.
DDG 124 is an Aegis baseline 9 Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) destroyer with significant capabilities against modern air warfare and BMD) threats. When operational, this multi-mission surface combatant will serve as integral player in global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense as well as providing increased capabilities in anti-submarine warfare (ASW), command and control (C2), and anti-surface warfare (ASuW).
The Navy has awarded funding for the planning and construction of DDG-124 to the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works for the Fiscal Year 2016. The $644.3 million contract modification fully funds this ship, and was awarded as part of a multi-year competition for Arleigh Burke-class destroyers awarded in 2013.