The guided missile destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) left today for a final set of builder’s trails ahead of an expected delivery to the U.S. Navy next month, a spokeswoman with the service told USNI News on Monday.
The ship left the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard in Maine, down the Kennebec River to the Atlantic Ocean for the builders trails ahead of additional tests once the ship is fully in the possession of the service.
“DDG-1000 departed Bath, Maine, today to conduct builder’s trials, during which many of the ship’s key systems and technologies will be demonstrated including on the Advanced Induction Motor (AIM), Integrated Propulsion System (IPS), Boat Handling and auxiliary systems,” read the statement from Capt. Thurraya Kent.
“In addition to systems testing, the Navy-industry team will be conducting numerous operational demonstrations in preparation for Acceptance Trials in April, as well as crew familiarization and counterpart training in support of crew certification, sail away milestones and commissioning October 15, 2016.”
The ship is expected to deliver to the service in April with the completion of its hull, mechanical and electrical systems (HM&E) ahead of a transit to California where the ship will be outfitted with its combat system and sensors.
Constructing and testing Zumwalt’s complicated integrated power system – which use the ship’s gas turbines and diesel generators to power a complex electrical grid inside the ship instead of a direct mechanical connection to the ship’s props – has taken more time than expected and the schedule has slipped past its expected delivery date.
BIW is currently building three of the ships as part of a $22 billion program for the class and well the restarted Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers (DDG-51).
Saving the combat system upgrade for San Diego was a decision the Navy made to free up manufacturing space at the Maine yard, USNI News understands.