Home » Budget Industry » Second Zumwalt Destroyer Michael Monsoor Leaves Bath Iron Works for California


Second Zumwalt Destroyer Michael Monsoor Leaves Bath Iron Works for California

Destroyer Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) underway during trials. BIW Photo

The second Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer has left a shipyard in Maine on Friday bound for California, Naval Sea Systems Command said in a statement.

The 16,000-ton Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) sailed down the Kennebec River to the Atlantic Ocean ahead of a commissioning at Coronado, Calif. on Jan. 26.

The departure marks the end of more than eight years of Monsoor under construction at Bath. The ship conducted its builder’s trials in December 2017 and January 2018 and completed its acceptance trials on Feb. 1.

The Navy accepted the first part of a split delivery of the destroyer on April 24. The destroyer suffered an engine casualty during the acceptance trials that required replacing one of the two Rolls Royce MT30 maritime gas turbines.

“The problem we had coming off of acceptance trials was actually the turbine blades – so think of a jet engine on the side of an airplane, the blades that you see – we actually had some dings, some damage to those turbine blades,” the Program Executive Officer for Ships Rear Adm. William Galinis told USNI News in July.
“We determined that it was best to change that turbine out before we actually transited the ship to San Diego.”

Once the ship is in San Diego it will be being the extensive combat system activation process that will test the ship’s sensors and weapons. USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) has been moving through the process since it arrived in San Diego in 2016.

The third ship in the class, Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002), is set to deliver to 2020. Combined, the Navy has spent about $23 billion on research, development and acquisition of the three-ship class.

In addition to Monsoor’s departure, Bath Iron Works began construction of the last Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Gallagher (DDG-127). The destroyer is named for Irish-born Marine Lance Cpl. Patrick Gallagher who earned the Navy Cross during the Vietnam War.

  • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

    Amazes me the advancements in radar signature reduction.

  • RunningBear

    A ghost ship; 600’x80′ @ 15ktns. that can evade aggressor radar screens in the middle of the ocean. 80 missile cells and 6knm. @ 30kts. can attack and disappear with no trace left behind!

    Fly Navy
    🙂

    • tom dolan

      I fail to see the utility of a stealth surface combatant. Modern cruisers are needed to act as central combat coordinators leading carrier attack groups which are impossible to make stealthy by their very nature. As for operating these ships independently to take ‘advantage ‘ of their stealth instead of using a more easily stealthy and less expensive submarine seems risky and foolish. Where is the mission for this platform?

      • Rocco

        Kudos exactly!!

      • RunningBear

        Virginia Class Sub/ VPM $3.2B x 18

        Zumwalt Class Destroyer $4.2B x 3

        A stealth ship is not part of either a CSG or an ARG. It is an individual task assignment for either ISR or attack (Raider).

        The US is a maritime nation and the protection of our commerce routes is of vital national importance. When those lanes of commerce are attacked, they must be defended and a Zummie can be tasked to be underway well before either of the Groups could be formed and tasked, with satcom/surveillance and 6Knm. x 30kts.

        Zummie can perform her tasks as a stealth/satcom activity. MADL retrofitted MH-60R and MQ-8C attack and recon verticals would further enhance the stealth “measured response” (80 missiles) and ISR tools. Both the B-21 and F-35 would be capable stealth assets to provide by MADL, remote ISR to the Zummie in their local capacities. The onboard USMC could be provided either by boat or an onboard H-60 vertical. A singleship that can put USMC onboard or on the ground and support them with the Romeo/Fire Scout and 30mm Mk46.

        Note* GLGP (non-rockets) were not a developing technology at the advent of the AGS. MACH 3+ rounds that are developing at this time for the 155mm/ 6.1″ tubes could be in the future for the AGS.

        IMHO
        Fly Navy
        🙂

        • DaSaint

          It would have interesting if this class, or similar, had the capability to carry 4 or 6 F-35s and stealthy UAVs in the hangar or below.

          • RunningBear

            At this time the two H-60s are all that’s available but one could recover a “Bee” for tie down on the landing pad. It might even refuel and make a short hop over to a LHA/D, for $120M deposit plus 1 $M pilot onto their flight deck.
            IMHO
            Fly Navy
            🙂

        • tom dolan

          Granted it’s interesting technology but in the real Navy it doesn’t fit into any of the principal stuctures designed to go to war. It’s also too expensive to deploy independently and since its $900,000 a round gun got shot down does it still even have its designed stealth with a more conventional armament ?

          • RunningBear

            The Navy was to upgun the Zumwalts with the 155 tube and 135 rounds for each gun at $35K per round (2004). The LRLAP is 88″ long/ 7.3′ @ 225lbs. ea. and 100nm. range. Each AGS has 25 rounds in inventory, 150 total.

            The practical conversion of the AGS to fire a GLGP 155mm hyper-velocity round might be possible with a range of 40nm. (OTH) but has not been publicly discussed or funded. Two types of GLGP rounds are discussed, surface to surface and an anti-missile (buckshot!).
            IMHO
            Fly Navy
            🙂

          • RunningBear

            The Zumwalt is a technology demonstrator. Aside from the other
            technologies, the AGS is typical of the “bullheaded” attitude of the
            USN. The dinky 5″ peashooter that is mounted on the CG, DDG was
            obviously inadequate for the Zumwalt. The Congressional Research Service
            report 7-5700 revised 23Oct18 indicates the following;
            – 5″ Mk45 113+ barrels
            – 115mm/ 6.1″ 1,100 barrels
            – 115mm AGS 6 barrels
            ….all use gunpowder to launch projectiles.

            The
            Zumwalt program should have added another 60+ 155mm barrels to the
            existing 1,100 155mm and the developing technology rounds common across
            the battlescape. But instead the Navy chose to saddle themselves with
            the ludicrous AGS that would be incompatible with any application of
            155mm common technology development, regardless of country of origin or
            application.

            Obviously the USMC or US Army should have sole
            authority for selecting guns for defense of US Navy ships in the future.
            At least, they will acknowledge the need for cost effective investments
            for the defense and attack gun systems with an experience of ownership.
            The USMC/ US Army development of the 777 is a good example of where
            future 155mm GLGP will develop and enhance.

            The “fixing” of the
            AGS should be a set-aside from a Navy program; I suggest a budget for: a
            DDG or a dozen or so of SBugs, etc. to bring the AGS back into
            compliance with the common 155mm tube applications of today and the
            future, under a USMC program.

            IMHO
            Fly Navy
            🙂

          • vetww2

            WHOOPS, there goed your radar cross section through the sky.

          • RunningBear

            Not exactly, the AGS is enclosed in a radar absorbent materail/RAM fixture and is lifted (hydraulically) for firing and returned to the on deck enclosure. Insuring no loss of RCS.
            Fly Navy
            🙂

        • I agree w/ you…

          If the Zumwalt IS used in group functions its stealth is not being applied, but that would not take away from the rest of its state-of-the-art technologies.

          If used independently or with other new stealth platforms it will be light years ahead of anything else on the sea.

      • vetww2

        Ah, there’s the rub.

    • vetww2

      Except for the EASILY tracked wake. Low radar cross section was important 30 years ago, but not so much, now.

    • vetww2

      Ship’s WAKE, ship’s WAKE, ship’s WAKE! ALWAYS trackable.

      • RunningBear

        Zumwalts are not invisible, ala wonder woman’s airplane. All vessels are physically limited by their environmental interface, even the stealthy submarine. Operating Soviet subs were detectable and localized, as required. So regarding the wake, yes it will be there but what is the risk factor for the ship’s protection. I have detected many ships with wakes (less those dead in the water) and mostly within visual range and certainly within local radar range.

        IMHO
        Fly Navy
        🙂

  • PolicyWonk

    The mission of these “destroyers” remains to be seen. If a Zumwalt were to accompany an invasion fleet to add its missiles or guns (HA!) to the fight, its presence would be well known because then its in the company of un-stealthy platforms (LHD, LHA, LPD, etc.). If she patrols with a CSG – same thing.

    The Zumwalts stealth will only be effective if they patrol on their own, or in concert with other stealthy platforms (SSGN, SSN) for ISR/recon missions, or possibly in support of SoF missions where a LOT of firepower might come in useful (well… missile firepower). And even then, wouldn’t an SSGN be better?

    Under the circumstances, I’m having a problem understanding the mission potential for this class of ships. At least, unlike LCS, the Zumwalts are built as warships, as opposed to commercial-grade sea-frames. But to what end? Playing bit roles?

    It is possible that as technology testing platforms (seriously: couldn’t we find a cheaper way?), the Zumwalts could find themselves following the path of the Seawolf SSN class, which were crazy expensive, but the design work and features of this otherwise useful class were used to create the very successful Virginia class SSN’s. This assumes, of course, that the Tumblehome sea-frame, stealth features, and power generation and propulsion systems, etc., all pay significant dividends.

    • Rocco

      At least the Seawolf subs work as designed!!

      • PolicyWonk

        Rocco,

        Where the guns turned out to be a total fiasco (a huge fiasco at that), the propulsion system, stealth features, and sea-frame could all prove very useful. We already know, for example, that VLS works and works well.

        The rest of it remains to be seen.

        • sferrin

          The only reason the guns turned out to be a “fiasco” was because the number built is so low that making ammunition for them became cost inefficient. Were they to do the logical thing, and base the cruiser replacement on the Zumwalt hull, more guns would be produced and the ammunition issue would go away.

          • Rocco

            Funny you mention this. As history repeats itself. The Alaska class had same situation with the guns! Although they worked very well, they were very expensive to manufacture. More than the 16″ BB class guns. Out of 9 to be built only 2-3/4 ships were built. Then after the war the Navy couldn’t decide what to do with them. Even a missile launcher wasn’t affordable. So they decomed them both with not much miles in them. Sad as they were a great looking ship!

          • PolicyWonk

            This is true – but someone should’ve considered this problem for what was supposedly 30 “land attack destroyer(s)”, when the number was whittled down to three.

            But since the guns were supposed to be swapped out for newer weapons when they became available, the process to remove them and add something else should be relatively straightforward.

          • sferrin

            One of the biggest problems is this thing has been going for such a long time (early 90s) that the world changed. They didn’t change their pitch as circumstances changed. Instead of a “guns for shore bombardment” now you have a ship with the ability to handle larger missiles (that will definitely be needed), two 155mm guns that can be used in the ABM role with the proper round, lots of electrical for DEWs, large radars, and railguns, AND your original land attack mission. And that’s BEFORE you use the same hull for your cruiser replacement. The USN has done a piss poor job of keeping the message relevant.

            “But since the guns were supposed to be swapped out for newer weapons when they became available, the process to remove them and add something else should be relatively straightforward”

            Make another new gun to replace the new guns? Unless you plan on back fitting them to the Burkes why would they build a new gun? And it doesn’t always happen anyway (see the 8″ Mk71 for the Spruance class for instance). They should bite the bullet, continue the Zumwalt class with the intent to Block/Flight change to the cruiser variant, and develop ammunition for the gun in the meantime. Stream the railguns into the class as they become available. (We don’t know how long that would be, could be 5 years could be 25 years, and I don’t know that you’d want to go that long with no guns for the class.)

            China already has 4 Type 055s in the water, with much larger (and more) cells than even the Zumwalts. We don’t have another 20 years to develop yet another hull that is unlikely to be an improvement on the Zumwalt. Continue the Zumwalt class, with the intent to morph it to the new cruiser over time, and push forward with the design of a VLS along the lines of the Northrop Grumman Modular Launch System. This wouldn’t replace the Mk57 but instead provide the ability for large strike or ASAT missiles, and situated in place of the aft gun position. (A larger cell allows you to use a cheaper missile for the same performance or a higher performance missile with the same tech than would be required to stuff a given capability into a Mk57 cell.)

        • Rocco

          Indeed

    • sferrin

      The Zumwalt class has suffered from a lot of bad press and program aimlessness. It’s so bad that nobody dares suggest using it for the cruiser replacement for fear of the stink rubbing off on them. The fact of the matter is it’s the best baseline for the future cruiser. It’s got everything they need and the cost would come down with series production. Unless there is something fundamentally wrong with the hull design that they’re not talking about it should be a no-brainer. Instead we get the current situation.

      • Tired_Libertarian

        I see it as the F-35 of the sea with a lot of new technology in and on the hull. The critics will decry that it can’t do this or it can’t do that for all of the money that has been poured into the program. The technology developed for the Zums will find it’s way into many future ships…hopefully not Chinese.
        Disclosure: I used to be a F-35 critic.

        • sferrin

          The problem is that’s sort of the wrong thinking. The Zumwalt is available NOW. No need for 15 years of dumping money into a new, inferior, design just to start cutting metal. No need for starting up a new production line. Ask yourself, is the cruiser replacement going to be smaller than the Zumwalt? Not likely. Less power? Nope. Needs it for powerful radars and railguns / DEWs. Smaller flight deck? Nope. Needs it for UCAVs and all sorts of UAVs coming down the pike. Slower? No. Are they going to jack up the RCS? Not if they can help it. Aside from a nuclear reactor and a larger VLS there is nothing the Zumwalt doesn’t already have.

          • Duane

            It’s very common for transformational naval warships to be built in relatively small, developmental quantities, then what is learned from those early hulls, what works great, and what needs changing, feeds into later ship class design built in large quantities.

            The first CVN was built in a quantity of one. It was a 1950s design … and the powerplant, for instance, was completely redesigned and reconfigured in the Nimitz. The Nimitz proved out the changes, and the rest of the Nimitz class was built out to more or less the same design.

            In the 1930s, the US Navy wanted a “fleet submarine” that had the long legs and internal volume necessary to conduct patrols across the huge distances of the west Pacific, in support of combined fleet operations (it was only after the war began that our “fleet” boats began operating independently, rather than as part of combined fleets). The Navy went through several developmental classes of the fleet boat, each built in small quantities, testing out different engines, different configurations and sizes, and so forth until the Navy finally settled on the Gato class of which it built 77. Then the subsequent two classes of WW Two boats, the Balao and Tench, were just refinements of the basic Gato design.

          • sferrin

            “It’s very common for transformational naval warships to be built in relatively small, developmental quantities, then what is learned from those early hulls, what works great, and what needs changing, feeds into later ship class design built in large quantities.”

            Yes and no. Yes, they’ll take what was learned from a limited run but a limited run doesn’t mean the design itself is flawed. In this case a Virginia won’t be enough. We need the Seawolf.

    • Matthew Schilling

      But why would its presence necessarily be well known? Couldn’t it be lost among the hustle and bustle of the regular fleet? A standard CSG configuration could draw attention away from an extra Zumwalt lurking nearby, without raising suspicions that ‘it must be there’.
      Similarly, couldn’t the stealth characteristics of a pair of F-22s be exploited better with a squadron of loud, busy, and still dangerous 4th Gen jets nearby?

      • PolicyWonk

        If the ship is travelling in the company of a fleet, and the presence of the fleet is known, then a good deal of the utility of stealth vanishes. And, any missiles sent in could latch onto anything that gets in its way – regardless – its not an air defense destroyer, or a CG, and they carry fewer missiles than either a Burke or Tico. The land attack aspect was supposed to center on the guns, if the propaganda was to be believed.

        The F-22’s are intended to “kick the door in” when attacking contested airspace, and assuming they accomplish that part of the mission, then the 4th generation fighters can go in and finish the job.

      • vetww2

        You cant lurk when your wake is pointing right at you. Even if you are stopped, so does your wake and it keeps pointing

    • Ed Johnson

      Having a hard time understanding the mission? You left out the following important facts. The Zumwalt class features 78 mega watts of total electrical power 20 of which are needed to run the ship. Therefore the ship has 58 mega watts of reserve to power new offensive weapons such as rail guns and defensive weapons such as lasers. New defensive laser weapons are vital to surface ships as anti-ship cruse missiles proliferate. The Zumwalt class is also driven by induction motors meaning there is no shaft that penetrates the hull, a technology that will most likely been seen in future ships. Do you consider the LCS to be stealthy? I do. What about the next generation frigate? Most likely will be a stealthy design. One last question for you. Will an anti-ship cruse missile detect and target a Zumwalt?

      • Tired_Libertarian

        I too see the power surplus as a resource yet to be tapped. Concerning the LCS, I see the huge flight deck of the Indys as another resource.

        • PolicyWonk

          I see that flight deck as useful, too. But the room for growth (100t, already found to be insufficient) and poor design make it difficult to assemble weapons, and then transport them to the deck.

          There’s an article on this site (presumably in the archives) that outlined a number of design problems with both LCS classes, that make seemingly straightforward operations impractical, and or very inconvenient.

          • Tired_Libertarian

            I see the LCSs as more of a forward UAV platform. Dart in to launch then scoot. Let the UAVs catch up after their mission. Ditch the multi-mission modules to free up space. It could be an interesting cyber platform with UAV relays.

          • PolicyWonk

            Well, parts of the USN are still trying to sell it as a combat platform, which would be great if they had been design and constructed as such.

            That’s why so many of us are concerned. The notion of building the ship so that “it sinks slowly enough for the crew to abandon ship if damaged on battle” isn’t exactly what I call inspired recruiting language.

        • vetww2

          Deck is too weak for most military helos.

      • RunningBear

        I would bank on multiple lasers of different types until the railgun can demonstrate a firing rate of 100rds./ 30min. or less. The durability of the railgun is the leading difficulty for design.

        A 58Mw. base capacity to be distributed to multiple: CIWS defense type lasers that can attack; “closing” anti-shipping missiles <5mi., and fleet defense lasers "tracking" anti-shipping missiles <50mi.
        IMHO
        Fly Navy
        🙂

        • vetww2

          i hope you are young, if you are waiting for railgun to be a combat factor.

          • RunningBear

            All electrical systems are limited by the power source and of course the design deficiencies of the system. The railgun has been demonstrated at 32Mj with barrel exit velocity at mach 6+. No railguns are currently installed on US ships. The apparent design limitation is the durability of the barrel materials for extended use. The goal is 10 rounds per minute.

            A similar technology, the electromagnetic aircraft launch/EMAL system is installed on the CVN-78 USS Ford and has launched over 750 aircraft, 2018.
            Fly Navy
            🙂

      • PolicyWonk

        If you read the section in my original post that mentions the power generation and propulsion system, there isn’t anything that was “forgotten”.

        The new weapons requiring that amount of power haven’t yet materialized, though lasers are now starting to find their way into general use.

        LCS’s stealth features (“reduced signature” is a better way to look at it), are not built as warships. They are designed and constructed to commercial standards. The Zumwalt, and her sisters, are designed and built as warships.

        • vetww2

          If only they didn’t capsixe ib a hard turn in SS4

      • vetww2

        On Radar stealth, a trimarran is like a corner reflector. On the Excess power, in 5 to 8 years we could have an ETC guyn, using any current gun in the inventory.

    • Having worked on both the CG & DDG R&D programs and involved w/ VLS, I think you make valid points, but there is a role for them… We were already looking at how to make those platforms more stealthy way back then, the Zumwalt just happens to be the latest total embodiment of the stealth technology.

      The original directive was to approach in the most stealthy way possible and shower the target w/ VLS launched missiles. While you could do this w/ a sub, remember, it wasn’t until recently that more VLS type missile options could be stuffed into the subs. I would have liked to see more VLS launch canisters on the Zumwalt than 80 (CG = 122, DDG = 96).

      But I agree w/ Ed Johnson on the power station aspects and new technology modules planned for the future, and maybe with improvements underway to make Tomahawks more lethal, the 80 cells with suffice. Everyone points to the price tag w/o also pointing out that scales of economies were completely lost when Obama paired the order back to a few ~ we really needed to build 20 -30 of these and classify them as cruisers IMHO.

  • DaSaint

    Why can’t we envision a stealth warship capable of carrying stealth F-35s? I remember when they thought of converting the old Iowa class, by removing the rear turret, and adding a flight deck for some Harriers. Never happened (except in an animated show), but was an interesting concept. Similarly, what if the Zumwalts or their successor had a rear flight deck and underground hangar. Up front, there could be 120 VLS tubes.

    • vetww2

      Sounds like a SUB. Good thinking.

  • sferrin

    The USN really ought to do what they meant to from the get go. Keep the line going and base the cruiser replacement on it. It’s hands-down the best way to go all things considered. With series production the cost would come down and the line is ALREADY in existence (though, if they’re going to do anything with it they better decide soon before suppliers start going out of business). With continued production the incentive to complete development of the AGS would exist, and make no mistake, they’ll be needed. The USN should have never sold it as a gun fire-support only ship. Now that’s all anybody sees, and with the current gun situation it makes the whole class look like an expensive joke. THERE IS NO REASON THAT NEEDS TO REMAIN THE CASE.

    • Yep. Cancelling Zumwalt was one of the dumbest moves the Navy has ever made. We had an extremely advanced warship ready to go that had all the space, weight, and power margins to be relevant well into the future and they threw it away. Now we’re stuck with building a 1980’s design well into the 2020’s and expecting it to be the backbone of the fleet into the 2060’s. The newest Chinese destroyers now have more modern features than ours do. And the best part is we’re probably didn’t even save any money since the restart Burkes cost almost as much as a Zumwalt and require twice the manpower.

      • Duane

        Well, yes and no. Cutting it to just 3 hulls was not smart … keeping it at maybe 10-15 hulls would have been better.

        Those new Chinese destroyers may be better equipped than our oldest Flight I Arleigh Burkes, but not better than the Flight IIAs and certainly not nearly as good as our Flight IIIs which have the world’s most advanced air and missile defense system (AEGIS Baseline 10 and AMDR) that runs rings around our older ABs.

        • The Flight IIA’s improved the back end, but they are still relying on a single S-band PESA radar while the Type 055 has a multiband AESA system. Even the Flight III’s don’t fully catch up as AMDR-X has been pushed down the road in favor of using the small rotating SPQ-9B as the X-band component. Unlike the Soviets, the Chinese know how to make good electronics (thanks to our companies outsourcing all their manufacturing to China) so I wouldn’t be writing off their radar systems.

        • sferrin

          Even the Flight III isn’t in the same league as the Type 055. And it isn’t close.

  • Will Caruthers

    My understanding of the Zumwalt design is that it grew out of the “littoral combat is the future of the Navy” era when we seemingly had written off near-peer nation conflict as somehow impossible in the modern world. The stealth is therefore a nice component for operating close to a hostile shore on small scale support missions where a modular DDG can fill different support and combat roles.

    The same littoral future thinking killed the Seawolf prematurely and provided justification to further pare down the force, but it does seem we’re moving back to what the blue-water navy should always have been centrally designed around; blue water operations. Give China and a resurgent Russia their due for that.

    I agree with other posters that the Zum class seems to be a platform lacking a clear mission, but it’s modular, it’s stealthy, and it physically exists in the fleet. I imagine we’ll find something to do with it. 😉

    • Rocco

      Like the old saying goes !!, a boat that’s a money pit should be sunk or burned , collect insurance money!!!

      • Matthew Schilling

        I’ve heard the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life is 1) when he buy his boat, and 2) when he sells it.

        • Rocco

          Yes I’ve been there lol

    • “resurgent Russia” = Hahahahahaa

      The “resurgent” Russian navy just lost their last aircraft carrier. The dry dock it was sitting on sunk and as it sunk the cranes on it damaged the carriers hull in several spots. They don’t think its repairable and that’s after it was in dry dock to refitted after it became essentially unusable…

  • Hugh

    Stealth is a valuable aid when under attack.

    • vetww2

      Agreed. 25 years ago, low radar cross section was a vital factor. Today it is almost irrelevaht, due to satellite wake tracking, which is accurate to 5 feet. Wakes are persistent for days. The only only problem is that the track has to be accurately allotted to the right ship. The view looks like a plate of spaghetti.

      • Hugh

        Ah yes, but when you are trying to seduce missiles away using Nulka, then I guess the ship’s smallest radar cross section would be desirable.

  • RobM1981

    Eight years building? So, when was this designed, 1971?

    Does the term “obsolescence” mean anything to anyone in the Government? What modern systems are modern eight years later? How’s that eight year old phone design working for you?

    What saves us isn’t that we’re good; it’s that everyone else is worse. It shouldn’t take eight years, even at a deliberately slow pace to spread the work out, to build a ship.

  • RTColorado

    It’s depressing to learn that “damaged” turbines were delivered to the Monsoor, given it’s near uniqueness…how many in the class ? Two. So, it’s inconceivable that a manufacturer could make such an error….as the saying goes “You had one thing to do…” and yet not only did they get that wrong, the installers didn’t notice. It’s not like the two most junior sailors installed those engines…bad vanes on a turbine engine is something the installers should have caught. Besides all this…how’s those new guns working out ? No, you men to tell us that the Monsoor has the same armament as the Zumwalt ? The same guns for which there is no ammunition ? At some point the excuse “It’s a new class of ship” wears thin.

    • Tired_Libertarian

      I don’t think that the turbines are very unique. Maybe some slight changes in the basic MT30 design but I doubt there was a major redesign.

      • RTColorado

        I’m going to stick with the turbines and it’s near uniqueness in that there are only two ships in that class with only one having the turbines installed in what has been a technically a plagued class…but for the sake of civil exchange…let’s for a moment agree that the turbines are not unique and that they are similar if not exactly like other turbines. Anyone who manufactuers turbines and anyone who installs turbines have a professional and tradesmanship duty to assure the turbines installed are correct in standards…which obviously didn’t happen. The last time I checked, I discovered that the Navy still pays the contractor for work even if it’s faulty equipment or improperly installed…that’s my money (and yours)…so improperly tooled turbines installed in a ship designed to provide shore bombardment support that has guns with no ammunition is just another slap in the face to taxpayers and undercuts support for other programs…fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me.

        • GAR9

          The MT30 is a derivative of the Trent 800 used in the Boeing 777. It also is used Britain s two CVFs, Lockheed’s LCS and is to be installed in South Korea’s Daegu class frigates.

          There will be three Zumwalts, the last scheduled to be delivered in 2020. Zumwalt herself has the same turbines and they were inspected and found to be fine. So, something either happened on acceptance trials or the engine was defective when delivered. Either is a bad situation. If the former, it must be determined whether the MT30s met spec. If they did, then there’s a problem with the specs that should have anticipated the situation that caused the problem.. If the latter, then why wasn’t it caught in the myriad inspections and tests?

          AFAIK, Navy only pays if it accepts the product. An example of how that works comes from the V-22 program. Early in development, one crashed on its first flight because the contractor had incorrectly assembled the flight control system. Sine the aircraft had never been delivered to and accepted by the Navy, the taxpayers paid nothing for that aircraft.

          Now, if the Navy for whatever reason chooses to accept something that doesn’t meet spec…

      • Duane

        The Arleigh Burke Flight IIIs use the same turbines as the Zums.

        • vetww2

          Right on, Duane, It is a manufacturing, not a design fault.

    • GAR9

      I thought the damage occurred during acceptance trials. Still not a good thing, but that points to different issues than defective delivery.

      Zumwalt was re-examined and its turbines are OK.

      As far as the guns go, you’re right that there is no ammunition for them. The problem is with the cutback of the program. Originally, when the guns were designed, there were to be 32 ships in the class. That meant a production run of 64 AGS plus spares, and enough ammunition to service all of them. With the cutback to three ships you’re looking at a total of six guns, plus a few spares. Since no other weapon uses the shells that the AGS would, the production run for that ammunition became so small that the price of each shell became so enormous that the Navy had to cancel production.

      • RTColorado

        The problem with the turbine was discovered during acceptance trials, either the Navy and the contractors onboard weren’t qualified to operate the ship and the equipment….or the turbines were damaged during installation by the contractors….or the turbines were defective from the OEM…or it could be a combination of (A.), (B.), and/or (C.)…but no matter how you slice it, it’s not the way to get things done….and again, it’s my money they’re wasting. As far as the gun goes…it’s too depressing to comtemplate. The Zumwalt class compromised VLS numbers and now it doesn’t have gunfire capability…exactly what is the Zumwalt is suppose to do ?

      • SDW

        Were the problems with the ammunition and their fix known before the Zumwalt was launched? If so, the problem is not in the unit production costs but in the amortization of R&D funds spent to get the first handful working. Those are known as the sunk costs and, however frustrating the figures are, cannot be changed whether you buy a dozen or a few thousand.

        If the fixes weren’t and maybe still aren’t known then it doesn’t matter what the production costs would be since they don’t know what the production specs for the rounds would be.

        No, the DDG-1000 class was, like the LCS, an interesting exercise in designing and building a ship in search of a mission and the tools to accomplish one. The USN bet on the come and came up busted. Or, like many arithmetically-challenged people, the USN convinced themselves that they were due for a win so they spent most of the grocery money buying lottery tickets.

        • GAR9

          AFAIK, there weren’t any unusual problems with the ammunition itself. The issue to my understanding is that the AGS was designed to use specialized ammunition to take advantages of the new capabilities inherent in the gun. The AGS can’t use any other shells and the shells it uses can’t be used by any other gun.

          You’re right, the sunk costs are the sunk costs, and even though when calculating total program costs and dividing by production numbers the R&D costs are factored in you are correct that we won’t get that money back if the ammunition is terminated. . The problem is that with only six AGS’ total (vice 64), the production run for the ammunition would be so small that they couldn’t be produced economically when you factor in the costs of setting up and operating an actual production line and keeping it open for the life of the ships. That’s why ammunition production was canceled.

        • Duane

          No, the LCS has three missions, all of which are vital to the fleet, and the ships will perform those missions well using the world’s most advanced technologies, particularly in unmanned systems.

          There is no searching for a mission for the LCS.

          As for the Zums, the original mission was land attack from the littorals. But time and technology and the capabilities of our adversaries evolved and that mission is no longer vital to the fleet. So the mission for now is fleet support. The mission yet to be, which will depend upon development of cheap and deep magazine missile defense weapons like railguns and directed energy, will shift to fleet support in air and missile defense. That is about 5-6 years off.

          • SDW

            That the LCSs (how many built so far?) *will* have mission capabilities and assignments someday I do not doubt. I do not see how the LCSs already has three missions given that they do not even leave port. If the LCS “has three missions, all of which are vital to the fleet” then they must be missions that an LCS is capable of performing from a distance of thousands of miles.

            Similarly for the Zumwalts, what mission or role have they been assigned today? We are not talking about a matter of a few months or even a year before the mission equipment can catch up with the completed hull. Do we have such a large budget that we can build dozens of ships for which, today, no mission can be assigned and whose future completion and valid role is a matter for amateur and obsolete (retired) kibitzing?

            No, there is precious little to discuss regarding the LCS and DDG-1000 actual mission capabilities and discussions of what they may be capable of one day is merely entertaining speculation. As is often said, even a bad example serves some purpose but only if recognized as such.

            I include in the same category the AGS and its ammunition. The USN had a golden opportunity to stop the age-old but objectively unjustifiable tradition of considering naval guns and land artillery as absolutely incompatible. This squandered opportunity may now be considered lost while the Army is likely to end up with 155mm and other size rounds with affordable precision and greatly extended range without even considering naval utility.

  • brianreilly

    whether this class of combatants serve as effective tools of wars depends on some technical issues I am not qualitifed to judge, as well as the strategic and tactical decisions pertaining to mision assignment, training, and maintenance. I sure wish I had more confidence in the political AND top USN brass side of the DOD to be any good at all about strategy, tactics, training and maintenance.

    The best tool in the world is not effective in the hands of a bunch of unqualified, ass-covering clowns.

  • John McHugh

    As it stands today, the Zumwalt class is a failure. Blame it on politics, timing, technology, project management, or some combination of all.

    With that in mind, the basis is there for validation and leverage. Does a CG need to be stealthy to function in a battle group? Obviously not. But, it also presents one less target to an incoming swarm of AShM. Survivability isn’t always based on an armor belt.

    Add a hull insert for additional PVLS. Improve the CIWS systems with better directors and point defense systems. Until a system that proves to be reliable and cost-effective can be installed, replace the useless AGS mounts with the standard 5-inch (127 mm)/62 Mk-45 mod-4.

    Replace the DBR with the new fleet standard AMDR to further ameliorate cost of this system.

    I would have gone with LM6000PGs instead of the Trents for more power and a very reliable platform.

    The ships are built and the Burkes can’t scale up much more. Building a Flt-IV similar to the Sejong would be great but power and cooling limitations may prove too much for this platform.

    Otherwise, attach the LPD-style AAW-BMD variant to the Battle Group as a simple AAW arsenal ship and kiss the beautiful lines of a cruiser goodbye.

    • Rocco

      All good suggestions but millennials won’t go backwards

      • sferrin

        Who cares about millennials?

    • Duane

      No, the Zum is NOT a failure. Not by any stretch. The only failure was the custom gun system failed when the Navy cut the base of platforms from 32 to 3, which is not a failure of the ship itself. Either a new shell or a new gun system will replace the planned LRLAP gun system. The 80 cell VLS is fully functional, the sensors are great, the aviation capacity still exists, ditto with the battle management system.

  • Rob C.

    I hope they find a functional role for the ship. Gutting the ammo it was going carry kinda kills half it’s potential Land-Attack role it was originally intended to do. Unless they approve the railgun concept (or fund it properly) it’s lame deck extra sized Spurance pretending to be a DDG.

    • GAR9

      There’s some talk of a test railgun being installed on the third Zumwalt.

      • vetww2

        Soooooo?

    • Zumwalt has SM-2 and ESSM and will likely get SM-6 so it is hardy just an “extra sized Spruance”.

      • vetww2

        The 100 ton SES100B fired a vertically launched SM-2 in 1975, doibg 60 knots and hit the target. So what. By the way, if you doubt it, check the cover of Aviation Week, of the time

        • Launching a missile is easy, get back to me when your SES has 80 large diameter VLS cells and the advanced sensors and combat system needed to make use of them.

  • StevenBBB

    Sleek looking ship. Is there any place where the crew can go topside? I wouldn’t want to be stuck below for extended periods. I used to enjoy being on the fo’c’sle, or lean against the railing.

  • Graeme Rymill

    vetww2 is referring to the ship’s wake.

    Space based synthetic aperture radars (SAR) can detect the wake of ships. The Chinese have SAR satellites. The question is can they accurately track ships’ wakes and derive targeting data from them?

    • Duane

      Sorry … radar cannot pick up a ship’s wake. No can do.

      • Graeme Rymill

        Google the phrases “wake detection” and “synthetic aperture radar”. You will see actual satellite imaging of ships’ wakes if you look at some of the research.
        “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, then are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

        • Duane

          A satellite can see a visual (optical) wake, but radar cannot detect a ship’s wake, which will always be obscured by “sea clutter”. A SAR can detect OBJECTS (like ships or boats or low flying missiles or aircraft) that are otherwise obscured by sea clutter, but wakes ARE sea clutter (i.e., wave tops). Even if detected (it won’t), which would require that an aircraft be within visual direct line of sight of the target, any aircraft equipped with a SAR would itself become the target of a surface to air missile fired by the target ship, or of one of our own aircraft. The Zums are equipped with SM series missiles and ESSMs in VLS to take out any such aircraft.

          Wakes don’t last but minutes anyway. Satellites that have sufficient resolution to pinpoint targets are LEO sats, meaning they only spend a few minutes within view of a target. If in geostat orbit, they are useless as targeting data sources. All a sat can do is transmit, for a few minutes, where a target WAS, not where it IS. And ships move at pretty high speeds.

          • Graeme Rymill

            You didn’t google those phrases like I suggested…….

            “There are none so blind as those that will not see”

          • jetcal1

            Duane up-votes his own comments.

          • Rocco

            Sonar can

          • vetww2

            Satellite observatories, DO!

          • vetww2

            You are WAY off. Wakes persist for days except in storms. Above latitude 35 you anso have a luminous biologic wake.

        • vetww2

          Thanks for the confirmation. Another Quote,m “None so blind as those who can look, but will not see. None so deaf as those who can hear, but will not listen”

      • vetww2

        Think again.

    • vetww2

      The answer is most certainly, YES. I tracked a carrier group for 3,000+ miles, and, as I said, the ONLY problem was keeping on the correct ship. It’s a spaghetti bowl out there. Of course the fact that it was a whole group helped.

  • Wondering

    Need to equip it for surface combat and quit calling it a destroyer.
    It displaces about the same as a early dreadnought.

    • vetww2

      A nose by any other name still smells, as do the LCSs and the DD1000s.

  • vetww2

    I am certain that both “Z” and Monsoor are ashamed of their namesakes. As for Johnson, nothing would make him ashamed.

    • Duane

      Really? You are certain of that?

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Wow! 8 years to build, and THEN the combat systems have to be installed. The track record for the Navy’s highly touted and extremely expensive ‘transformational’ ships is not a good one so far. The main weapon of the Zumwalt is useless. The best that is presently hoped for is that its electrical power capacities can fuel weapons that are at best unproven in combat (lasers for ship protection) or still in development (rail guns). The ‘next generation’ carrier right now can only ‘launch aircraft’ from catapults on LAND. Last I saw it was hoped that the “Ford” could be deployed in 2022! Then there is the LCS. The Navy had to pay catch up to address the deserved criticism about how poorly armed they are, and because of ongoing problems, hasn’t been deployed in quite some time. And something like 30% of the force is or will be dedicated to testing and/or training! I sure hope the remaining 82 years of the 21st Century are more rewarding for the Navy as far as some of the ship designs they accept. There have been some successes, like the more recent Burke “flights” and the Virginia class subs, but given the time, resources and MONEY invested in the three classes I mentioned, more is expected. I am puling for them…