AUGUST 8, 2014 — In a last hurrah for its Gulfport, MS, Composite Center of Excellence, Huntington Ingalls Industries' (NYSE:HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has delivered the composite deckhouse for the destroyer Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) to the U.S. Navy.
The 900-ton deckhouse was the last structure to be built at the facility. When the Navy decided to switch from composite to steel construction for subsequent DDG 1000 class deckhouses, the decision was made to close the Gulfport location, which has now been listed for sale.
The deckhouse provides an advanced structure that will house the ship's bridge, radars, antennas and intake/exhaust systems and is designed to provide a significantly smaller radar cross-section than any other ship in today's fleet.
"This is a very unique structure for a very unique ship," said Kevin Amis, program director, DDG 1000 Program. "Wherever she goes in the future, the shipbuilders of the Gulfport Composite Center of Excellence will know that they had a hand in building one of the most complex carbon fiber structures ever built."
Made almost exclusively using cored composite construction processes, the deckhouse and hangar take full advantage of the properties of the carbon fiber materials and balsa wood cores. The composite deckhouse provides the unique performance and technical capability necessary in the Zumwalt class of destroyers. The structure is as strong as steel, at significantly less weight. The composite deckhouse also reduces maintenance cost over the life span of the ship due to its corrosion resistance in the marine environment.
"I am extremely proud of the men and women of the Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast and Ingalls Shipbuilding for their outstanding accomplishment in manufacturing the DDG 1001 deckhouse," said Jonathan Graves, DDG 1000 program manager's representative, Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast. "This complex and cutting-edge composite deckhouse will serve as the heart of the USS Michael Monsoor. We are extremely honored to have a role in celebrating a great American and Medal of Honor-winning hero."
The deckhouse will be placed on a barge and shipped to General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine to be integrated onto the steel hull of DDG 1001.