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Zumwalt Departs Bath Iron Works for U.S. Navy Acceptance Trials

The guided- missile destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) departs the Bath Iron Works shipyard on March 24, 2016. US Navy Photo

The guided- missile destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) departs the Bath Iron Works shipyard on March 24, 2016. US Navy Photo

The guided missile destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) left the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard for its acceptance trials ahead of delivery to the U.S. Navy, the service announced on Wednesday.

This morning, the 16,000-ton warship transited down the Kennebec River to the Atlantic Ocean for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) evaluation before the ship’s anticipated delivery to the service in May.

“While underway, many of the ship’s key systems and technologies including navigation, propulsion readiness, auxiliary systems, habitability, fire protection and damage control capabilities will be demonstrated to ensure they meet the Navy’s requirements,” read a statement from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

In March, Bath took the ship out on four days of builder’s trials to test the ship’s hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) systems.

During the four days of builders trials, “representatives from BIW, PCU Zumwalt, the Navy’s Program Office, SUPSHIP Bath and various technical subject matter experts, including Raytheon personnel, tested several ship systems including key propulsion and auxiliary systems as well as boat operations,” read a March statement provided to USNI News by the service.
The acceptance trails will only focus on Zumwalt’s HM&E system that are based on a first-in-concept Integrated Power System. The IPS combines the output of two Rolls Royce MT-30 gas turbine engines, along with diesel generators, to power a ship wide electrical grid. Instead of a direct mechanical connection to the ships props, the IPS powers large electrical induction motors that propel the ship through the water.

The complexity of constructing and testing the IPS is the primary cause for the schedule of the ship to slip several months from its original anticipated delivery date.

Following delivery, Zumwalt will transit to San Diego, Calif. where it will be outfitted with the remainder of its combat system – in part – to free up space at Bath for the construction of the two follow-on ships Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) and Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) and Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) guided missile destroyers.

  • sferrin

    I hope they take a REAL hard look at the Ticonderoga replacement before they shutter this line. Flight III Burkes aren’t going to cut it (already going to be stuffed to the gills) and the Zumwalts are the only ships that will be able to drop-in railguns and SSLs when they come online in the future.

    • SierraSierraQuebec

      Couldn’t agree more. What would it take to shift the AMDR, possibly with the larger original array, on to the DDG-1000, use the hangar space for CBG air defence command spaces of the Ticonderogas, and leave the AGS guns spaces empty as a future growth margin. DDG-1002 could be modified as the prototype, its guns going to outfit a somewhat modified pair of LCS’s to produce a literal littoral warfare ship prototype. Flight III’s can’t replace the Aegis cruisers because they have no space for the air defence command element anyways, the AMDR just improves capability it doesn’t make them suitable as cruiser replacements.

      • sferrin

        I’d think those guns would be way too big for the LCS. Also, the original idea was to use the Zumwalt hull for the Ticonderoga replacement then they decided “too expensive”. I’m thinking that with the R&D already spent the incremental costs of new hulls would be cheaper than starting from a clean sheet. I just don’t want to see the on again, off again, on again stupidity we’ve seen with the Burkes. That break in the line was EXPENSIVE.

        • Secundius

          But NOW we (the US Navy) Used the Mk. 75 Ot0 Melara 3-inch/62-caliber (76.2x636mmR) Auto Cannon, instead…

          • Ed L

            or the Super Rapido with Strales System and DART ammunition the Italian Navy went with them rather than going to the Fast Forty 40 mm CIWS, in the anti-missile defence role. The Durand de la Penne class destroyer has three 76 mm Super Rapido turrets. But that class of ships has already pass the 20 year mark. Still a pretty ship with nice lines. The Italians always did build pretty warships
            in my opinion.

          • Secundius

            The Oto Melara and the Super Rapido are “One and the Same”…

          • Ed L

            The Otobreda Super Rapido with Strales System and DART ammunition becomes an anti missile system. Is a totally different gun than the orginial Oto Melara.

          • Secundius

            The Mk.75’s Mounted on the Pegasus, were rated at 85rpm because if the Limited Ammunition Supply. The Mk.75’s on the OHP class were rated at 120rpm, because of the Larger Magazines…

          • Ed L

            I meant The Otobreda Super Rapido with Strales System and DART ammunition becomes an anti missile system. Is a totally different gun than the orginial Oto Melara. The ones the American navy used were junk compared to the Italian ones.

          • Secundius

            Same Gun Systems, Different Manufacturing Sights…

          • Ed L

            Well in the late 70’s I saw and italian Frigate equip with a Otobreda fire almost 200 rounds in 2 minutes. The poor Perry only got 60 rounds off in the same two minutes

          • Secundius

            I don’t Know What to Say? Was it an OLD gun Dressed to Look NEW. Was the Vender Oto Melara/Breda or Licensed American Manufacturer. People use the term “Standardization” A Lot, But What Actually Does It Mean. Looks and Works the Same or Looks the Same and an Inferior Performer. The Eli Whitney Interchangeable Gun Part Demo of 1825, was Staged. No Two Part were Interchangeable, Standardization didn’t occur until After 1904. After the City of Baltimore Nearly Burned to the Ground…

          • Ed L

            Shame it didn’t spread to Washington and New York

          • Secundius

            There’s a Possible 40x255mmR/70-caliber Auto Cannon being introduce First to the USMC on their New ACV’s. With Possible Inclusion to Surface Vessels. 200rpm Cycic Rate, Armor penetration of 140mm at 1,500-meters. Direct Fire Support Range of 2,500-meters and a Maximum Indrect Fire Support Range of 5,000-meters. Also a Simplified Side Loading System, Possible Replacement for the Mk.38 25mm Auto Cannon on the Mk.6 Patrol Boats and Cyclone’s…

      • bellhead

        Use the San Antonio class haul, drop the A1B 450 Megawatt reactor from the Ford class in it to power it, take the technology from what you have on the Zumwalts power system and you are good to go for 30 years. This alone would be the giant leap forward.

        You then have the platform for the AMDR radar, several hundred missiles, 100KW antimissile laser, railguns, and space to hold a command staff.

        All of this is missing from the Flight III’s.

        • sferrin

          San Antonio a cruiser it is not. If all it took was space for weapons to function as a cruiser you could slam it all on a barge and pat yourself on the back for all the money saved. Unfortunately, reality requires something. . .more.

          • Ed L

            Speaking of San Antonio class. Another high value target that is underarm. They need to cut back on the micro waves ovens and TV’s. I miss those eight 3/50″ with radar control .

          • Secundius

            Last 3-inch/50-caliber was Retired in 1994…

          • Ed L

            Yes when the LKA El Paso was decommissioned but the 3″50′ is still in service in many other navies.

  • Tony4

    Please recall that we built battleships and aircraft carriers in the 1920s and 1930s with electric propulsion…

    • USNVO

      True, there were also DEs built with electric drive that served into the 1960s and the USCG BEAR class as well as several USNS, most notably the T-AKEs, use electric drive as well.

    • Beomoose

      I don’t think anyone is disputing that. But the turbo-electric drives of the early 20th century were more or less purely propulsive, IPS is (as the name suggests) integrating the entire ship’s “power grid” together. That’s what is new and developmental here.

  • RobM1981

    If the hull proves to be stable, it looks like a great platform. Big “If,” but still.

    I only wish that they’d dump those silly guns and replace them with VLS and sensors necessary to provide ABM support, too.

    • sferrin

      “silly” guns? That must be why every naval ship on the planet goes to sea with them. Because they’re silly.

      • RobM1981

        Guns, in general, aren’t silly. The guns on the Zumwalt are. They have a 70 mile range, to facilitate long range shore bombardment. Because, of course, we’re going to land Marines on a beach that is too hot to have a ship be, say, 5 miles offshore. We’re going to keep the bombardment ship 50 miles offshore – over the horizon – but send in the gators?

        No, of course not. The beach would be suppressed. If there are weapons that can reach out five miles, then we’re not going in until those are neutralized. Hellfire comes to mind, but it is only one of a long list of options.

        If the Navy wanted a modern bombardment ship, on 16,000 tons, bring back armor. Put 8″ or larger rifles on an armored platform and have fun… but it will never be used.

        And using a 70 mile gun for anti-ship is just as questionable. At that range, use whatever replaces Harpoon.

        I’d much rather see the Zumwalt with a single high-performance (but not 70 mile) 125mm rifle, and the rest of the space used for more VLS.

        DDG1000 needs better missiles, more missiles, and ABM capabilities – for now. Once beam weapons become serious, and the USN is certainly working on them, then there can be swaps. Beam weapons are line of sight, and are thus primarily useful for Anti Air and Anti Missile. In that role, once the technology is ready, they will be amazing.

        In the meantime, one rifle – even if it’s a rail-gun – is enough.

        The current state of surface warfare is done with Anti-Ship missiles. Let’s upgrade ours to a new level of performance, and give the Zumwalt the ability to ship more of them. That makes it a far more dangerous and useful ship.

        • sferrin

          Guns aren’t only used for shore bombardment. And all those fancy assets you’re mentioning in your effort to make those guns superfluous may not be available. It’s as weak as the argument that gators don’t need F-35Bs. (Because we’d never attack anybody unless we had a carrier there and if we had a carrier there we don’t need F-35Bs.)

          • RobM1981

            Wiki the “Advanced Gun System.” You’ll find this:

            “A primary advantage of the AGS over the existing Mark 45 5″ gun which equips most major surface combatants of the US Navy is its increased capability for supporting ground forces and striking land targets. ”

            Yeah, that’s basically what it was built for. To pour 6″ shells over the horizon.

            If that’s what you really want, bring back the 6″ mounts from the Cleveland Class, toss some armor on the ship, and get in close. We’re as likely to do that as we are engage known targets from 70 miles away with a rifle…

          • sferrin

            They’re also looking at guns for missile defense with guided shells. Besides, Zulwalts already have more cells than they’ll likely fill. (SM-2s can fit 2 to a cell. ESSM 4 to a cell.)

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Those guns bring a massive capability in not only the shore bombardment realm but also in Suw. (with new warheads) and would be extremely hard to shoot down. “We’re as likely to do that as we are engage known targets from 70 miles away with a rifle…” No, were not… I highly suggest you google the excalibur rounds already in use.

          • RobM1981

            I hear what you are saying, but I disagree. Maybe I’d be OK if the DDG1000 had one, but two?

            I don’t see how a 70 mile range for a rifle is going to be useful in SuW – particularly if the enemy is shipping a newer SSM, like the Russians just announced they are going to (Rubicon? I’m too lazy to google it, but it’s something like that – and it’s supersonic out way past 70 miles). I’d rather see the USN develop something similar (better). The news that the Standard is now fully SSM capable is great, but we all know that it’s not optimized for that role.

            I’d rather see the Zumwalt ship one fewer of these (silly) things, and more VLS – usable for whatever new SSM the navy comes up with… preferably with a supersonic range in excess of 100 miles.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            So, the Navy is.. its called LRASM.. The ship still packs plenty of VLS. Shore bombardment, and a potential weapon within 70nm along with the missiles just makes it that much more flexible.

  • John B. Morgen

    The Admiral Zumwalt class is the Navy’s newest folly, next to the LCS program.

    • sferrin

      Thanks for your input Admiral Nimitz.

      • John B. Morgen

        It’s Fleet Admiral Nimitz, Mr. [s]ferrin.

        • sferrin

          Whatever you say Mr 5-stars. But I’d wait until it’s actually completed acceptance trials before declaring it a miserable failure. Or is your middle name “Nostradamus”?

          • John B. Morgen

            You’re dealing with Mother Nature’s Son:) The ship is still a folly, just wait and see.

        • Secundius

          Admiral of the Fleet(s) George Dewey, was the ONLY Admiral in the US Navy to achieve 6 (SIX) Stars…

          • John B. Morgen

            That is incorrect because there is [no such thing as a 6-star admiral. A Fleet Admiral has always been 5-stars. You must be thinking about the Grand Admiral rank of Germany under the Kaiser’s and Hitler’s regimes.

          • Secundius

            Look it Up If You Don’t Believe ME! Also General of the Armies John Joseph “Blackjack” Pershing, was the ONLY 6 (SIX) Star General in US History…

          • John B. Morgen

            General Washington was never promoted as a six star general because the number of stars was [never] specific. However, Congress did kicked around the idea of making General MacArthur into a six star general, but Congress never followed through with the idea. Don’t bother with Admiral Dewey because he was promoted to five stars.

          • Secundius

            General Washington, was ONLY a Lieutenant General. John Joseph “Blackjack” Pershing, rose to the Unprecedented Rank of General of the Armies (Plural) 6-Stars. Dewey’s 6-Star Rank was Honorary Upon his Death, NOT while he was Alive…

          • John B. Morgen

            What I found about Admiral Dewey, and that was, he was promoted to a five star admiral, and not a six star admiral.

          • Secundius

            1. Navy Fleet Admiral – Military Ranks
            ( http: // www. military – ranks. org / navy / Fleet Admiral )
            5th Paragraph Down, entitled: Admiral of the Fleet

            2. Who was the First Six Star Admiral In the US Navy-Answers
            ( www. answers. com > … > history > war and military history )…

          • John B. Morgen

            On March 24, 1903, the United States Congress approved the promotion of Admiral Dewey to a six star admiral; for his victories over the Spanish in the Philippines. He became the Admiral of the United States Navy, and this rank was never granted to anyone else since then.
            I searched the websites that as you suggested; however, I also dug up my old Blue Jackets’ Manual which stated only five star Fleet Admiral ranks were ever granted—to a very few admirals.

  • Ed L

    Why is the Zumwalt being called a DDG when it displaces 16,000 tons. More than a Ticonderoga Mark 41 class cruiser, Shouldn’t it be called a Cruiser.

    • Foton

      The Zumwalt really is a Cruiser, when you look at the displacement. I think they decided on the destroyer wording, due to the anticipated stretched hull Zumwalt being 20,000 to 25,000 tonnes. The larger variant would carry the Cruiser classification. It would have carried 512 VLS cells.

  • Earl B. Walker

    Had not intended to comment until I saw the name John Morgan. I’d like to take this moment to wish him well with fond memories of DDG 51 and the years that followed.. My son in law , Mac and I , certainly have good memories of our days at sea and in THE YARD during 51’s building and trials.
    As to accuracy in reporting, the file photo shown was taken inbound on March 23rd,with Fort Popham on the port quarter, as it should be. I only mention this as we entered the river in snow. It disparages Maine weather to imply this photo of us outbound on April 20th and returning the following day in bright sunny skies.
    When the guns are mentioned, it has been my understanding that the idea was to get a gun that could support ground troops moving inland from the beachhead not to just secure the beach.
    I look at Zumwalt as really a test bed ,as will 1001 & 1002 to follow. New systems will be employed. The pros and cons will be argued. What I ask is learn all you can from the past and then involve the seaman in the design. The concept people come up with some great stuff but then tend to ruin it with wouldn’t it be nice to have this? Nice, maybe: needed, no. Does it contribute to future failures? This is a terrific platform, built like the proverbial outhouse, learn how to use her to best advantage, argue, that is healthy. It causes one to think and rethink. Use the past as a guide while keeping the concepts and how they react to each other in the mix.
    In closing ,I’d like to thank Admiral Gale, Captains Downey and Kirk for a superb last ride!
    Earl B. Walker KP 58

  • Secundius

    @ Sam LaGrone.

    Did you Receive the Info on the Russian Navy Project 23000E, Shtorm (Storm) class Aircraft Carrier? My Side of the Screen is STILL BLANK on the the Posted Information…

  • Rob C.

    Personally, i wish they reconsider the production closure of the line,. Its likely too late, Congress and the ever changing Navy Administration/Admiralty didn’t give this ship’s design even chance. To prove itself.

  • Richard N Lisa Wheeler Sr.

    Way to go NAVY !! Let’s keep making America Great Again ! I have worked on the LPD’s and this ship looks like it can do the job. I’ll pay my taxes, Gladly !! USCG 315713 !