The USA’s DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class Program: Dead Aim, Or Dead End?
March 28/19: Integrated logistics support and engineering services. Raytheon won a $9.1 million contract modification for the DDG 1000 ship class. The deal exercises options for integrated logistics support and engineering services. The DDG 1000 or USS Zumwalt is a guided missile destroyer designed to fulfill volume power and precision strike requirements. According to a report updated in October 2018, the Zumwalt ship incorporates a significant number of new technologies, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system and automation technologies enabling its reduced-sized crew. The DDG 1000 combat systems provide offensive, distributed and precision firepower and long ranges in support of forces ashore, while incorporating signature reduction, active and passive self-defense systems and enhanced survivability features, the Department of Defense stated on Tuesday. Just recently, the USS Zumwalt left for British Columbia, Canada to link with the Royal Canadian Air Force and showcase the US Navy’s newest class of destroyers. However, as Bloomberg reports, the Navy’s $23 billion program to build the DDG 1000 destroyers comes with a 5 year delay. The first ship of the class is scheduled for a September delivery, which is more than five years later than originally scheduled and 10 years after construction began. The ship isn’t expected to have an initial combat capability until September 2021, which is at least three years later than planned. Raytheon’s will perform work under the current modification in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and is expecting to be finished by March 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 – 2019
FY 1998 – 2004
Additional Readings & Sources
News & Views
Fill in the secure form below to activate your subscription right away (or pick another plan)