U.S. Navy Accepts Delivery of USS Zumwalt

USS Zumwalt
USS Zumwalt

Published Apr 27, 2020 9:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), the world's most expensive destroyer and the lead ship of the Navy's next-generation of multi-mission surface combatants, on April 24. 

The ship will now transition from Combat Systems Activation to the next phase of developmental and integrated at-sea testing. The vessel was subject to a dual delivery approach: shipbuilder General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works commissioned the vessel in 2016. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems was the prime contractor for the Zumwalt Combat System and has lead activation and integration for Zumwalt class ships both in Bath, Maine and San Diego.

USS Zumwalt joins the U.S. Pacific Fleet battle force and remains assigned to Surface Development Squadron One. The ship will be crewed by 147 officers and enlisted personnel and a 28-person aviation detachment.

The 610 foot, wave-piercing tumblehome ship design provides a wide array of advancements, says the Navy. Additionally, the shape of the superstructure and the arrangement of its antennas significantly reduce radar cross section, making the ship less visible to enemy radars.

Employing an innovative and highly survivable Integrated Power System (IPS), DDG 1000 has the capacity to distribute 1,000 volts of direct current across the ships' entirety, allowing for enhanced power capability for various operational requirements. At its core are two turbine generators powering induction motors – comparable to a diesel-electric power plant, but with much more installed capacity than any other destroyer. The extra peak power is intended to feed advanced energy weapons like the Navy's prototype railgun.

The USS Zumwalt, suffered several propulsion casualties during trials at sea, but Commanding Officer Capt. Andrew Carlson was positive about the future, saying: "After sailing over 9,000 miles and 100 days at sea in 2019, we are absolutely looking forward to more aggressive at-sea testing and validation of the combat systems leading to achievement of initial operational capability."

USS Zumwalt embodies the legacy of warfighting excellence and innovation of Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., a veteran of World War II and the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. He exemplified honor, courage and commitment during 32 years of dedicated naval service. Believing it was his job to "modernize and humanize" the Navy, Zumwalt chose to embrace change and to lead it from within. 

As the 19th Chief of Naval Operations, Zumwalt's embrace of innovation resulted in a number of successful new programs, including the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine and the F-14 Tomcat, all of which had lasting impacts on the warfighting readiness of the Navy. 

The USS Zumwalt is the first ship of the Zumwalt-class destroyers. The USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) is homeported in San Diego and is undergoing combat systems activation. The third and final ship of the class, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), is under construction at BIW's shipyard in Bath, Maine.