This post was updated with a statement from HII.
Ingalls Shipbuilding was awarded a $41.6 million contract modification to begin the combat system activation of Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) in Mississippi, according to a Monday Pentagon announcement.
The shipyard will provide, “temporary dock services and maintenance to the ship … to accomplish the combat systems availability (CSA) for DDG 1002,” reads the announcement.
“Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and is expected to be completed by October 2023.”
The two previous Zumwalts – USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) and USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) – underwent their combat system activations at Naval Station San Diego, Calif., following a hull, mechanical and engineering delivery to the service from builder General Dynamics Bath Iron Work, Maine.
“During this availability, Ingalls will complete the installation, activation and testing of the combat systems to ensure a fully functional system is ready to operate in the Navy fleet, as part of the Navy’s phased delivery approach,” the shipyard said in a Monday statement to USNI News.
“The $41.6 million cost-incentive-fee contract allows Ingalls to begin program management, labor, materials, and facilities to accomplish industrial efforts and fleet industrial efforts to support the ship’s combat system.”
Instead of activating the combat system in San Diego with a full crew aboard, the Navy elected to take the ship to Ingalls, USNI News reported last year.
In a June 2021 report to the Government Accountability Office the Navy outlined its rationale for no longer performing the combat system activation in San Diego.
“For DDG-1002, the Navy changed its delivery plan over the past year. According to the program manager, instead of taking custody of the ship from the builder’s yard and completing the combat system at Naval Base San Diego, the Navy is now planning to contract with a private shipyard to install the combat system and will not take delivery or commission DDG-1002 until it is fully complete,” reads a GAO report on major acquisition programs. “The program manager stated that this new approach may result in additional schedule delays; however, it will free up valuable pier space in Naval Base San Diego and enable the Navy to avoid moving the crew onboard DDG-1002 until it is ready to operate. The program manager identified the change as a response to lessons learned from DDG-1000 and 1001—specifically, that completing combat system activation and final construction is complicated by onboard crew, in part, because access to spaces is more constrained.”
As part of the report, the Navy estimated Johnson would deliver by 2024.
The contract award follows a mid-August notice from Naval Sea Systems Command on the other two ships in the class. The notice said the Navy intended for Zumwalt and Monsoor to travel from California to Ingalls for an extensive maintenance availability. That availability, USNI News has learned, will include removing the 155mm Advanced Gun Systems on the two 16,000-ton ships and replacing them with launch tubes for hypersonic missiles.
USNI News first reported in March that the Navy intended to remove the guns to install the missile tubes.
It’s unclear if Johnson’s time at Ingalls will include the removal of its AGS and the installation of the tubes for hypersonic weapons. That work was not included in Monday’s contract announcement.
The work on the first two ships in the class is set to kick off in October, Navy officials told USNI News earlier this year.
The trio of ships are set to be the first U.S. warships to field hypersonic weapons. Navy officials have said they intend to have the weapons to sea on the Zumwalts by 2025.
“Zumwalt gave us an opportunity to get [hypersonics] out faster and to be honest with you I need a solid mission for Zumwalt,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday told USNI News during an interview earlier this year.
The following is the complete Aug. 29, 2022 contract announcement.
Huntington Ingalls Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi, is awarded a $41,646,746 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to definitize the previously awarded undefinitized contract N00024-22-C-2300 for temporary dock services and maintenance to the ship (including, but not limited to, preventative and corrective maintenance), as required, as well as management, labor, material, facilities, emergent work support and maintenance as required, to accomplish the combat systems availability (CSA) for DDG 1002. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and is expected to be completed by October 2023. Fiscal 2016 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $750,687 (3%); fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $3,496,466 (13%); fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,053,085 (7%); and fiscal 2022 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $21,078,471 (77%) will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Huntington Ingalls Inc. is the only responsible source available to perform the DDG 1002 CSA with resource availability and the technical capabilities required to complete the DDG 1002 CSA. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-22-C-2300).