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Zumwalt Destroyer Departs Bath Iron Works for San Diego Homeport

Zumwalt on Sept. 7, 2016. BIW Photo

Zumwalt on Sept. 7, 2016. BIW Photo

This post has been updated to correct the spelling of the second Zumwalt class guided missile destroyer. The correct spelling is Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001). 

The first in a class of new guided missile destroyer has left its Maine shipyard to start a three-month journey to its homeport in San Diego, Calif.

Zumwalt (DDG-1000) headed to the Atlantic down the Kennebec River from its berth at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard on Wednesday, the Navy announced.

Following the ship’s planned commissioning in Baltimore on Oct. 15, the ship will then transit to California for a post-delivery maintenance availability focused on activating the ship’s combat system. The ship is set to be “integrated into the fleet” by 2018, the service said on Wednesday.

The departure from Bath follows the May delivery of the 16,000-ton destroyer to the service after several months of delay for a testing period to prove out the ship’s first-of integrated propulsion system (IPS).

The IPS is a system in which Zumwalt’s main engines power a complex electrical grid that power massive electrical motors instead of a direct mechanical link to the ship’s propellers.

The ships’ main weapons are twin 155mm BAE Systems Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) designed to fire a specialized rocket assisted guided round to attack land targets – Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP).

Zumwalt is the first of three ships in the $22 billion class. Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) and Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) are currently under construction at BIW.

The Navy initially sought to purchase more than 30 of the hulls, but at the direction of then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates trimmed the class to three ships.

  • Marjus Plaku

    Still no aft mounted gun system for point defense or surface warfare, no dedicated CIWS for point defense and no guns capable of engaging an enemy ship. Unacceptable!

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0


      That’s the Navy’s ship design motto.

    • Keith Albee

      Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

      • sferrin

        Yes it does.

    • sferrin

      As useless as they are (they ditched the Mk110 57mm) they won’t be missed. A CIWS, of any sort, would be, but those Mk46s that aren’t there would be more useful as boat anchors.

    • Horn

      Aren’t you forgetting the two Mk 46s? As for CIWS, I only know of one CIWS with a stealth cupola: the Millennium Gun. I don’t see us ever using those, especially since its effectiveness against missile threats is still in question. The ship’s hull was designed around one aspect: stealth. I don’t think they are going to risk compromising that profile for a CIWS that is less effective against today’s modern anti-ship missiles.

      • Marjus Plaku

        They are not installed yet, if ever. And with a 2500 meter range, poor fire control system/rate of fire, they are basically useless against anything other than a buoy.
        the MK110 would have been more useful and there was a reason it was included in the original design.

        • Horn

          First off, they will be installed. I don’t know why you think they wouldn’t install them. Second, do you realize that the Bofors and the GWS have about the same ROF? Navy’s stated max range for the GWS is 4400 yards with full-caliber ammunition. A Bushmaster with HE can easily damage small boats and the weapons system will be linked into CIC. The only downside with the Mk 46 is the range when compared to the Bofors. But that’s what happens when you cut funding to a program, capabilities get reduced.

          • sferrin

            “A Bushmaster with HE can easily damage small boats ”

            Sure, if it can hit them. There’s a video on youtube of one of the LCSs firing their Mk46s and the accuracy is appalling.

          • Horn

            Apparently so. I stand corrected. I agree that the Bofors is the better choice, especially if you use the 3P fragmentation ammo. That stuff is insane. I still stand by my comment on the CIWS for missile defense. There are no great options that wouldn’t affect the stealth profile.

  • AncientSubHunter


    You list the second Zumwalt under construction as the “Moonsor”…it is the Monsoor.

  • What ever, I wish her and her crew the best of the best and fair winds and following seas. MMCS(SW)(SS) USN Ret.

    • DaSaint


  • Ed L

    Ditto to what the Master Chief said.

  • Stephen

    This is an homage to the great Admiral; not the sea-control-ship (SCS), but pretty close… Z-Grams changed the direction of the Navy, for better or worse…

    • CaptainParker

      Definitely for worse.

  • I assume that the stream of water is a salute from a fire boat hidden in the background and that a ship’s fire main did not rupture. Considering the engineering causalities that befall some of our new construction ships nowadays, you can’t be too careful. Perhaps it would have been more prudent to post a picture shot from a different perspective.

    • DaSaint


  • MutantDog

    How does a 16.000 ton vessel purpose-built for shore bombardment get rated a “destroyer” ? It’s either a cruiser or, more likely, a monitor.

    • Donald Carey

      Remember the explanation of the origin of elephants – Mice designed by the Pentagon.

    • Ed L

      Yes they should call it a Cruiser

  • Marauder 2048

    “The Navy initially sought to purchase more than 30 of the hulls, but at
    the direction of then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates trimmed the class
    to three ships.”

    Bob Gates: is there a single service he didn’t materially damage? What a fool.

  • Kenneth Millstein

    I find it hard to believe that the number of Zumwalt class destroyers has been reduced to 3 hulls from the initial request of 30 hulls.

    Since Bob Gates is long gone as Secretary of Defense why can’t his decision be reversed or at least just cut in half to15 hulls. The same thing happened to the B-2 swept wing Air Force bomber. It was reduced to 22 from the requested number of about 100. It is somewhat understandable to go from 100 to 22 but doesn’t the number 30 to 50 seem more plausible.

    We need to defend our country with the best and most of any platforms of any country on the planet.

    Thank you for reading this.

  • Ed L

    The Rheinmetall Oerlikon Millennium Gun Is a nice piece of work. I visited a number of websites. Simple easy to operate. Lockheed Martin is the U.S. licensee to Oerlikon Contraves for sale and manufacture of the gun systems. But 3 ships right now on? In hindsight seems like a good idea. Work out all the bugs and in 3 years or restart the line. If bath is smart they will hold onto the core of that workforce