BATH — The future USS Daniel Inouye, a Bath-built Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, returned from successful at-sea acceptance trials Friday, according to a military public relations firm. Meanwhile, the shipyard on its website has noted a dip in its production rate.

Acceptance trials serve as the Navy’s opportunity to test the ship’s mechanical and electrical technologies that control navigation, communication and propulsion to ensure they meet the Navy’s standards.

The ship’s smooth sea trails is a good confidence boost for the shipyard after a rocky stretch of mounting delays, said Craig Hooper, CEO of Themistocles Advisory Group, a Maryland-based national security advisory firm.

“Good, strong, well-operating naval shipyards deliver good, strong and well-operating Navy ships,” said Hooper. “Bath needed to show that the yard still could lay claim to the old adage that ‘Bath built is best built.’ A trouble-free delivery like this builds confidence — with both the yard and the U.S. Navy — and sets it on a path for future work building ships for the U.S. Government.”

The USS Daniel Inouye blasts its horn at over 100 spectators gathered at Fort Popham in Phippsburg. Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record

BIW spokesman David Hench told The Times Record in December the Inouye is the first ship in two years to leave BIW for sea trials.

Work on the vessel started in Oct. 2014, and it was christened in June 2019. The Inouye was initially scheduled to be delivered to the Navy over a year ago, Hench told The Times Record, but the COVID-19 pandemic and a nine-week strike this summer curtailed production.


In a Dec. 2 letter to employees, BIW President Dirk Lesko named the future USS Daniel Inouye’s sea trials as a milestone in its fight to recover from delays.

“These near-term goals are part of a larger three-year plan to ensure BIW is delivering the shipbuilding velocity the Navy expects on our existing work and to position us to win new work,” Lesko wrote.

In December, the shipyard was operating at a shipbuilding rate of 1.5 ships per year and chugging toward its goal of building two ships per year, wrote Lesko. However, the shipyard’s production rate dipped to 1.25 ships yearly as of last week, according to the company’s website. The company did not name a cause for the slip.

“Daniel Inouye returned from sea trials Thursday after the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey inspected the ship during a series of demonstrations, to test and validate performance of the ship’s onboard systems,”  Hench wrote in a statement. “With this at-sea period complete, we now turn our attention to correcting any issues the Navy identifies and demonstrating that DDG 118 is fully ready for delivery within the next few weeks.”

In a statement last Friday, Capt. Seth Miller, an Arleigh Burke program manager for Program Executive Office Ships, wrote the future USS Daniel Inouye “performed superbly” last week following an “outstanding” first found of sea trials BIW conducted in December.

“The Navy and industry team are ready to deliver a highly capable multi-mission warship to the fleet within the next few weeks,” wrote Miller.


Both BIW and Navsea declined to comment on what, if any, problems were identified or when the ship is expected to be delivered to the Navy.

The $1 billion Inouye is 513 feet long and 66 feet wide, with a displacement of about 9,200 tons. The destroyer can reach speeds over 30 knots, and hold a crew of 304. Inouye’s home port will be Pearl City, Hawaii, its namesake’s home state.

Born in Hawaii in 1924, Daniel Inouye became a war hero for his bravery in World War II and later went on to represent Hawaii as the first Japanese-American elected to Congress. He served in the US Senate for 50 years and was the second-longest-serving senator in history. He died in 2012 after representing Hawaii since it became the 50th state in 1962.

During World War II, he served in the Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made of soldiers of Japanese ancestry. Inouye was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart with Cluster for his bravery in battle, which cost him his right arm. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.