Arleigh Burkes at Bath Iron Works

On our way up the coast of Maine, we passed through Bath, home of the famous Iron Works. In No Higher Honor, I read about how winning the contest to build the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates for the US Navy revitalized BIW.

Here’s a shot of the Bath Iron Works I took yesterday:

bath iron works sterett sampson biw

You can see USS Sterett (DDG 104) on the left and USS Sampson (DDG 102) on the right. The Sterett was just launched in May and the Sampson was launched last September. Neither has been delivered to the Navy yet, so you’re looking at the newest of the new Arleigh Burke class ships.

If you look carefully, above and behind the Sterett you can see another ship on the ways. This is possibly USS Stockdale (DDG 106) which was laid down last August. BIW is also currently building USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).

Closer pics of each ship below:

uss sterett ddg 104 biw

uss sampson ddg 102 biw


  1. Shipmates, That big blue structure on the left of the photo is a drydock. The Iron Works expanded south a few years ago and changed it’s production concept from the old inclined ways to a horizontal launch. With this new system, the ship is built on a set of rails and cradles, and when ready for launching, the drydock is set against a fender, the rails aligned, and the ship is rolled into it. Then the drydock is flooded, lowers down into a purpose built well, and the ship is floated out the other end with the aid of tugs. After that, she’s berthed alongside the piers for final outfitting. These new construction are all built in modules, like sub assemblies, which, when finished are hoisted by the large cranes out of the big green building, placed on a transporter, and moved to a staging area to await their turn in being added to the ship. By this same method, Samuel B. Roberts was rebuilt after her near-sinking. They simply cut away the damaged section, built a new module, and then welded it in place. FWIW, I live just across the street from that blue drydock. I can see the bows of the vessels from my front window. It’as surprisingly quiet, since most of the work is done by plasma cutters and electric welding. No more banging rivit guns, etc. Thank goodness! Additionally, the very first wooden vessel built in the New World was constructed in 1607 just down river, to the left of the images, at Popham Beach, by the Popham colonists who decided Maine just wasn’t the vacation spot they were led to believe. Heh….. Sailed back to England, they did… Respects,

  2. MO, I don’t believe you went to ME but couldn’t stop by MA and say hi. So long as you had submitted your biometric data well in advance, you’d have been in almost *no* danger from the automated defenses and the liquification turrets.