It has been a long time coming, but the Navy finally put to sea the long, gleaming gray hull of the future.
The first ship in a three-ship class, Zumwalt (DDG
1000), is back at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in
Maine after six days of builder’s trials in December. It
marks a huge milestone for the futuristic ship, which
the Navy began constructing in 2008 but endured
delays and dramatic changes to the program scope
along the way.
The Navy originally planned to build 32 ships, but
the program was repeatedly truncated until the service
settled on just three. Now, the Navy finally is seeing
the fruits of the ambitious project that perhaps did not
quite turn out how leadership envisioned.
During builder’s trials aboard Zumwalt, the crew and
Raytheon personnel demonstrated ship systems, including its integrated propulsion system, small boat operations, auxiliary systems and other essential capabilities.
The DDG 1000, with its modular architecture and fu-
turistic design, does not resemble anything else in the Na-
vy fleet, and it does not act like anything else either. And
the service is quick to point out just
how advanced this ship is.
“DDG 1000 is the first U.S. Navy
surface combatant to employ an
innovative and highly survivable
Integrated Power System with
unique architectural capabilities,
including the provision of power to
propulsion, ship’s service, and com-
bat system loads from the same gas
turbine prime movers,” Matthew
Leonard, a Navy spokesman, said in
an e-mail. “DDG 1000’s power allo-
cation flexibility allows for poten-
tially significant energy savings and
is well-suited to enable future high
energy weapons and sensors.
“The ship’s wave-piercing Tumble-
home ship design, shape and antennae arrangement sig-
nificantly reduce cross section and acoustic output, mak-
ing the ship less visible to enemy radar,” he added, noting
that the ship also would feature highly advanced radars,
like the SPS-73 navigation radar and Multi-Function
Radar, capable of conducting “area air surveillance, includ-
ing over-land, throughout the extremely difficult and clut-
tered sea-land interface.”
In addition, the ship will have active and passive
sensors, including the High- and Medium-Frequency
Bow Sonar Arrays, Multi-Function Towed Arrays, and
electro-optical and infrared systems.
The ship also is built modularly, and those modules
are supported by the ship’s infrastructure, with electrical power and cooling inputs. New computer and electronic systems can be installed without completely
overhauling the ship. In most cases, installing a new
system is as simple as changing out the equipment that
is on the rack.
Zumwalt also will have excellent defensive capabilities,
Leonard said, and “will multiply naval surface fire coverage and capability against anti-ship cruise missiles.
Finally at Sea
Completion of DDG 1000 early sea trials marks a major milestone
By DANIEL P. TAYLOR, Special Correspondent
Like No Other
The DDG 1000, with its modular architecture and futuristic design,
does not resemble anything else in the Navy fleet.
; Its integrated propulsion system will allow for significant energy
; The modules are supported by the ship’s infrastructure, with
electrical power and cooling inputs.
; Zumwalt also will feature highly advanced radars, like the SPS-
73 navigation radar and Multi-Function Radar, as well as active and
passive sensors, including the High- and Medium-Frequency Bow
Sonar Arrays, Multi-Function Towed Arrays, and electro-optical and