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Zumwalt Destroyer Leaves Yard for First Set of Sea Trials

Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is underway for the first time conducting at-sea tests and trials in the Atlantic Ocean on Dec. 7, 2015. US Navy Photo

Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is underway for the first time conducting at-sea tests and trials in the Atlantic Ocean on Dec. 7, 2015. US Navy Photo

On Monday morning, the first-in-class Zumwalt-class destroyer left its pier at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, headed down Maine’s Kennebec River bound for the Atlantic Ocean and its first taste of saltwater.

The 16,000-ton Zumwalt (DDG-1000) departed the yard for its first set of open ocean trials — years after the ship began construction in 2008 and after several production delays.

The trials follows a four day “fast cruise” in October in which the ship did everything from rolling the shafts, bringing up and down systems, testing failure modes, testing watch station effectiveness,” Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (RDA) told Defense News last month.
“We did everything that we could next to the pier prior to getting underway.”

Outside of releasing photos of the ship on social media and its website, the Navy did not give many details on the trials.

Zumwalt on Dec. 7, 2015. US Navy Photo

Zumwalt on Dec. 7, 2015. US Navy Photo

Zumwalt is the first of three planned ships in the $22.1 billion program that promises a next generation propulsion system that has enough energy to power future sensors and weapon systems.

However, delays in production for the ships at BIW have pushed back delivery schedules for other ships in the yard.

  • Marcd30319

    This generation’s version of the USS Norfolk (CLK-1).

    • sferrin

      Could you elaborate?

  • orangelotus

    As an uninformed observer, I was wondering, outside of the prohibitive per unit cost, why a variant couldn’t be a replacement for the Ticonderoga class cruisers? Could someone in the know please explain?

    • sferrin

      It was suppose to be but after the cancel, redo, cancel, redo, cancel stupidity over the years they managed to explode the costs into something we can’t afford. Only to turn back to the Burkes – which had their costs exploded as well due to the same stupidity.

  • Adrian Ah

    There’s talk about how much this ship costs, but compared to the LCS or the F-35 lightning, it seems to be a far better buy. Let’s say this ship costs US$2bn. The F-35 is said to cost $1.5 trillion. That’s a lot of Zumwalts you could buy instead. What would you buy to replace the F-35? – the F-15SE and start up the F-22 line again.

    Why is logic so difficult to find in the military these days?

    disclaimer- I’m an armchair critic.