The USA’s DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class Program: Dead Aim, Or Dead End?
March 2/20: Delivery and In-Service Life-Cycle Support General Dynamics Bath Iron Works won a $7.7 million contract modification to exercise options for the accomplishment of planning yard efforts such as engineering, technical, planning, ship configuration, data and logistics efforts for DDG 1000 Class destroyers post-delivery and in-service life-cycle support. Zumwalt is the lead ship of the class of modern generation multi-mission destroyers designed to strengthen naval power from the sea. The DDG 1000 ship self-defense combat system, Zumwalt Combat System, consists of several programs including total Ship Computing Environment (TSCE) and Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) with tracker and sensor data fusion and distribution system. DDG 1000 will employ active and passive sensors and a Multi-Function Radar (MFR) capable of conducting area air surveillance, including over-land search and track, throughout the extremely difficult and cluttered sea-land interface. Work will take place in Maine and California and expected completion will be in December 2020.
DID’s FOCUS Article for the DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class “destroyer” program covers the new ships’ capabilities and technologies, key controversies, associated contracts and costs, and related background resources.
The ship’s prime missions are to provide naval gunfire support, and next-generation air defense, in near-shore areas where other large ships hesitate to tread. There has even been talk of using it as an anchor for action groups of stealthy Littoral Combat Ships and submarines, owing to its design for very low radar, infrared, and acoustic signatures. The estimated 14,500t (battlecruiser size) Zumwalt Class will be fully multi-role, however, with undersea warfare, anti-ship, and long-range attack roles. That makes the DDG-1000 suitable for another role – as a “hidden ace card,” using its overall stealth to create uncertainty for enemy forces.
At over $3 billion per ship for construction alone, however, the program faced significant obstacles if it wanted to avoid fulfilling former Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter’s fears for the fleet. From the outset, DID has noted that the Zumwalt Class might face the same fate as the ultra-sophisticated, ultra-expensive SSN-21 Seawolf Class submarines. That appears to have come true, with news of the program’s truncation to just 3 ships. Meanwhile, production continues.
Zumwalt Class: Program and Participants
Program History: The Long and Winding Road
DDG-1000 Key Technologies and Features
DDG-1000 Issues and Controversies
Zumwalt Class: Contracts and Key Events
FY 2014 – 2020
FY 1998 – 2004
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