SPECIAL REPORT / SURFACE WARFARE
The Navy’s newest warship looks like none that have gone before, a massive 15,900ton guidedmissile destroyer (DDG) that is larger
than some World War II cruisers. Although its exterior
reflects striking design differences with older warships,
many of its power, mission and control systems also are
departures from the ways of the past.
The Navy showed off its newest class of ship, the
Zumwaltclass guidedmissile destroyer (DDG 1000)
to reporters Oct. 13, two days before its commissioning
ceremony in Baltimore. Zumwalt, named for the late
former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo “Bud”
Zumwalt, visited for the city’s Fleet Week celebration
and berthed alongside an Arleigh Burkeclass DDG and
a Ticonderogaclass guidedmissile cruiser, which pro
vided contrasts to the sleek, smooth lines of Zumwalt’s
tumblehome hull and lowradar cross section.
Zumwalt now is the largest and most heavily armed
surface warship in the Navy. It is armed with the largest
and longestrange gun in the fleet, has the largest num
ber of missile launchers, the most powerful electrical
power supply system, a sophisticated air defense radar,
an integrated mission system, new sonars and extraor
dinary situational awareness for the crew. The ship will
bring increased lethality, including offensive power, and
survivability to the fleet.
Zumwalt, built by General Dyna
mics’ Bath Iron Works in Bath,
Maine, is armed with two 155mm
Advanced Gun Systems (AGSs)
built by BAE Systems specifically
for the Zumwalt class. The two
AGSs are mounted in tandem on
the forward weather deck and
housed in enclosures that add to
the stealth characteristics of the
ship’s radar cross section.
The guns are designed to fire the
225pound, rocketassisted, Global
Positioning Systemguided Long
The new destroyer also is equipped with 80 launch
cells of the Mk57 Peripheral Vertical Launch System
(PVLS). Unlike the Mk41 VLS on older ships, with
cells arranged in a box array amidships, the PVLS cells
line the edge of the ship, 40 on each side. The PVLS
can launch SM2/3/6 Standard surfacetoair missiles,
RIM162 Evolved Sea Sparrow surfacetoair mis
siles, BGM109 Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as
VerticalLaunch AntiSubmarine Rockets that deliver
Mk54 antisubmarine torpedoes to submarine targets
up to 10 miles away.
Zumwalt eventually will be fitted with two 30mm
Mk46 CloseIn Gun Systems, installed above the heli
copter hangar. The ship also carries . 50caliber M2
machine guns, which can be installed for transits to and
from port and if needed to counter small boats. Unlike
other destroyers and cruisers, Zumwalt does not carry
the Mk38 25mm chain gun or the Mk15 Phalanx Close
In Weapon System.
Lacking the Phalanx, Zumwalt will rely instead on
the Evolved Sea Sparrow missile for closein defense
against cruise missiles, Christianne M. Witten, a
Zumwalt Joins the Fleet
The Navy’s new guided-missile destroyer
heads for homeport and further testing
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
The 15,900-ton destroyer USS Zumwalt was commissioned into
the fleet on Oct. 15 in Baltimore.
n The first-in-class ship heads for its homeport in San Diego for
further systems activation and trials.
n Zumwalt’s radar cross section is 1/50th that of an Arleigh Burke-class DDG.
n Initial operational capability is set for 2019.