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Destroyer Zumwalt Back at Bath Iron Works After First Set of Builders Trials

Destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is underway on Dec. 7, 2015. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is underway on Dec. 7, 2015. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with an additional information and a statement from the Navy.

The first-in-class guided missile destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is back at the yard after six days of builders trials.

The trials were the first time the long delayed ship – which began construction in 2008 – had left the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard after a series of delays in construction.

USNI News understands the builder’s trials were primarily staffed by BIW staff with only had a handful of Navy personnel onboard and ended when Zumwalt returned on Sunday, a BIW spokesman told USNI News on Tuesday.

The BIW spokesman referred all questions on Zumwalt’s six days out to the service.

“During this initial at-sea period, representatives from BIW, PCU Zumwalt, the Navy’s Program Office, SUPSHIP Bath, and various technical subject matter experts including Raytheon personnel, demonstrated several ship systems including small boat operations, anchors, Integrated Propulsion System [IPS] and auxiliary systems,” read a statement from the service.
“Primary risk reduction objectives were successfully met and, as with any trials, the Navy learned a great deal about ship performance during the more than 100 hours of extensive testing.”

Zumwalt’s trip down the Kennebec River to the Atlantic Ocean will the first of several sets of hull, mechanical and engineering (HM&E) tests which are set to prove the efficacy of the ship’s first-of-type IPS.

The difficulty and development and integration of the IPS for the $22.1 billion, three ship program – in part – been responsible for the several production delays for the ship that have trickled down and held up production for other ships in the yard, USNI News reported in July.

The 16,000-ton destroyer is equipped with two high power Rolls Royce MT-30 gas turbines and two smaller Rolls-Royce RR450 gas turbines that can output up to 80 megawatts – giving the ship a wide margin for future power hungry sensors and weapons.

For example, Naval Sea System Command has studied adding an electromagnetic railgun to the third planned Zumwalt ship, Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1001) NAVSEA commander Vice Adm. William Hilarides told USNI News earlier this year.

Following the completion of the HM&E trials, the ship will transit to the Pacific to complete the activation of its combat system and is planned to be home-ported initially at Naval Station San Diego, Calif.

During the trials the ship was instrumental in aiding in the rescue of a fisherman in peril in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard.