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DDG-1000 Zumwalt / DD(X) Design

DD(X) will be an optimally crewed, multi-mission surface combatant designed to fulfill volume firepower and precision strike requirements. DD(X) will provide the hull form and propulsion for the future generation of surface combatants that provide an array of 21st Century Naval capabilities. DD(X) will be about 600 feet long, 79 feet wide, draw approximately 28 feet, and be capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots. Displacement will be approximately 14,000 tons. The ship's tumblehome design will make it appear smaller than it actually is on radar. Although nearly twice the displacement of a Spruance-class destroyer, through signature reductions and its unique tumblehome hull design, DD(X) will be a stealthy warship and present a radar cross section a fraction of Spruance-class ships.

The DDG 1000 Zumwalt class destroyers are new surface combatants with a wave-piercing tumblehome hull form designed both for endurance and low-radar detectability. The Navy currently plans to acquire three ships of the class. The DDG 1000 Zumwalt class destroyer is equipped with the following:

  • Total Ship Computing Environment Infrastructure that hosts all ship functions on an integrated, distributed computing plant.
  • Two 155 mm Advanced Gun Systems that fire Long Range Land Attack Projectiles (LRLAPs).
  • Replacement of two MK 110 57 mm close-in gun systems (integrated with the ships combat system), with two standalone MK 46 30 mm guns (not integrated with the ships combat system).
  • Eighty vertical launch cells that can hold a mix of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, Standard Missiles, Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rockets, and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles.
  • AN/SPY-3 Multi-Function (X-band) radar modified to include a volume search capability. (The Navy removed the Volume Search Radar (S-band) from the ships baseline design for cost reduction in compliance with an Acquisition Decision Memorandum of June 1, 2010.) Modification of the AN/SPY-3 Multi-Function Radar (X Band, horizon search radar) would provide the volume search capability that would have been provided by the Volume Search Radar.
  • An integrated Undersea Warfare system with a dual frequency bow-mounted sonar and multi-function towed array sonar to detect submarines and assist in avoiding mines.
  • An ability to embark and maintain MH-60R helicopters and vertical take-off unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • An Integrated Power System that can direct electrical power to propulsion motors, combat systems, or other ship needs.

This ship is designed to provide critical capabilities to defeat current and future evolving threats. DDG-1000 has been designed to carry out Navy missions while putting half as many sailors at risk when compared to the ships the Navy currently has to do complete these missions. It is designed for higher operational tempo and lower life-cycle costs than current Navy destroyers.

DD(X) will dramatically improve naval surface fire support capabilities available for joint and coalition forces. Planned technologies, such as integrated power system and total ship computing environment in an open architecture, will provide more affordable future ship classes in terms of both construction and operation. DD(X) will be the first forward-fit surface combatant with an open architecture combat system. This investment will be leveraged to other surface ship procurements, including CVN 21 and LHA(R).

A pair of 155mm guns, called the Advanced Gun System (AGS), will provide precision fire support at extended ranges. AGS will use the Long-Range Land-Attack Projectile (LRLAP) that can reach targets up to 100 miles away. The AGS will be completely automated and each DD(X) will have a magazine capacity of 600 rounds or more. The AGS has a water-cooled barrel and can achieve a rate of fire of up to 10 rounds per minute.

Two DD(X)s provide firepower equivalent to an entire battalion of 155mm howitzers, consisting of three batteries of six guns each, and the accompanying 58 cargo trucks, 42 utility trucks, 28 cargo trailers, two wrecker trucks, five water trailers, two medical vehicles, and 640 personnel.

The 155-mm LRLAP round carries a 24-pound warhead. Furthermore, the AGS can fire several consecutive rounds at the same target with varied trajectories so they arrive simultaneously. The Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) capability can be employed against targets up to 75 miles away.

One of the features that helped Northrop Grumman win the design contracts for the DD-21/DD(X) was the way it scattered Tomahawk cruise missile launchers around the perimeter of the destroyer rather than clumping them together in the center of the ship. The Blue Team proposed a VLS offering a high degree of commonality with the Navy's current MK41 Baseline VII Launch Control System and using the traditional VLS configuration of centralized missile magazines, with two unitary, centrally located 64-cell missile magazines, one fore and one aft.

In contrast, the Gold Team proposed a new, more innovative approach. Specifically, the Gold Team proposed as its primary approach a peripheral VLS consisting of numerous modules (a total of 128 cells) peripherally located along the hull. Although the Navy recognized that the developmental nature of the Gold Team's peripheral VLS approach necessarily increased program risk, the agency viewed it as an "innovative solution to a significant vulnerability problem in virtually all U.S. Navy surface combatants"; by dispersing the missiles to the periphery of the ship, the peripheral VLS reduced the probability that a single hit would destroy the missile magazine and cause the catastrophic loss of the ship.

Rather than storing missiles in large clusters in the center of the ship, Northrop Grumman proposed placing them in groups of four between layers of steel along the sides. By dispersing the missiles to the periphery of the ship, the peripheral VLS reduced the probability that a single hit would destroy the missile magazine and cause the catastrophic loss of the ship. The inner steel would be thicker than the outer skin, funneling a blast outward if the missiles exploded while onboard during an attack or accidentally. It avoids the risk of having a single round go into a magazine of 48 or 64 cells and losing all the missiles at one time.

Using a peripheral launching system, rather than a hybrid of the MK 41, was an innovative solution to a significant vulnerability problem in virtually all US Navy surface combatants. However, the only MK 41 mishaps of consequence have been a handful of cases where a missile's motor fired but the weapon failed to leave its launch canister - called a "restrained firing." After more than 2,000 actual missile launches [and] several incidents at sea including mine detonations, collisions and restrained firings, no MK 41 VLS-equipped ship has ever suffered any launcher-related damage or loss of life.

The Gold Team proposed a superior radar approach. In this regard, the solicitation required offerors to design, develop, build and test on land a VSR radar, that is, a radar that operates within the L-Band frequency and is designed to scan large areas of aerospace to locate potential threats. However, the L-Band suffers from significant propagation loss at low altitudes, which can lead to a reduced capability to detect low-flying targets. Thus, the solicitation also required that offerors integrate the VSR radar with the SPY-3 MFR radar developed under a contract with the Navy by Raytheon, a member of the Gold Team, and then conduct land and at-sea testing with an integrated radar suite.

The SPY-3 MFR is an X-Band radar--operating at a higher frequency and shorter wavelength than the L-Band--which has the potential to pinpoint and track the precise movements of target objects and has better performance against low altitude targets. The Blue Team proposed a radar suite consisting of an L-Band VSR segment and an X-Band SPY-3 MFR segment, each with its own digital processor, and integrated through the suite's command and control sensor manager. In contrast, the Gold Team proposed a "dual band radar" integration approach, under which the VSR and MFR are integrated at the waveform level, with a common scheduler and tracker residing on a common digital processor.

The Navy determined that this approach to integrating the two radars was an innovative, superior approach that promised exceptionally close coordination between the radars and resulting significant advances in radar performance, including robust performance in the presence of jamming and electronic countermeasures, superior performance in all natural and man-made environments, improved track accuracy and resolution, and the ability to avoid multiple radar track-to-track correlation problems. In addition, the agency concluded that the greater software and hardware commonality of the Gold Team's approach would result in the need for significantly less software development time and maintenance, and would favorably affect hardware development and long-term operation and support costs.

Harris is designing and developing the Common Data Link (CDL) X-/Ku-band phased array antenna system for the next-generation destroyer, the DD(X), that is being developed for the U.S. Navy. The low-observable, high-data-rate, multi-beam antennas will be integrated into the DD(X) composite Integrated Deckhouse Assembly (IDHA). Harris also will provide integration and test support services. The Harris Phased Array Antenna has been specifically engineered to communicate error-free within the harsh shipboard Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) environment caused by co-located high-power search and tracking radars. The unique Harris-patented architecture provides simultaneous shipboard multi-beam connectivity with up to eight Common Data Link (CDL)/Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) assets, all from the same phased array antenna. This capability eliminates the traditional requirement of a dedicated antenna for each data link asset. The Harris-built antennas address the challenge of limited shipboard topside space. They will be conformal-mounted into the DD(X)deckhouse superstructure and will contain no moving parts. Unlike the dish antennas they will replace, the low-maintenance phased array antenna "electronically steers" its multiple beams.

The Gold Team design included a larger aviation landing area (made possible by its peripheral rather than centrally-located, unitary VLS) which accommodated two landing spots rather than the one spot offered by the Blue Team design. The Navy concluded that the availability of two landing spots would result in "dramatically improved aviation flexibility"; that the design would provide the ability to land (and service) helicopters that could not be landed on current cruiser or destroyer platforms, thus significantly increasing joint warfighting capability; and that the dual spot design would facilitate embarkation of next generation unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition, the Navy determined that the Gold Team's proposed enclosed stern boat bay for launching and recovering boats was significantly more advantageous than the Blue Team's proposed side-launch boat bay. According to the agency, the stern boat bay would permit rapid, flexible and safe boat handling, especially at higher sea states, while the Blue Team design's over-the-side launches and recoveries would be extremely difficult at high sea states and would present a significant safety concern.

The Navy recognized that the possibility of using the more advantageous stern boat bay was precluded in the Blue Team's design by the Blue Team's approach to the integrated power system (IPS). Both teams proposed as their primary IPS solution a permanent magnet motor (PMM), a motor which offers significant potential advantages, but which also is characterized by moderate development risk. However, while the Gold Team proposed a conventional shaft-driven system with the PMM internal to the hull, and thus available for on-board repair and replacement of modules, the Blue Team proposed a propulsion system in which the propulsion motors are in two external, steerable pods, mounted below the hull. Although the agency believed that the Blue Team's podded propulsion approach offered significant potential advances in ship maneuverability and ease of maintenance, it noted that this approach had never been developed for a surface combatant, having only been used on commercial cruise ships, and concluded that significant development effort would be necessary in order to militarize the pods and satisfy the Navy's speed, acoustics and shock requirements.

Beyond finding the Gold Team's more conventional propulsion approach as less risky, the agency also found the Gold Team's fallback motor more advantageous. In this regard, given the risks associated with the PMM, the agency viewed a fallback solution to be "critical to the success of the DD(X) program." However, the Blue Team's proposed fallback motor, also incorporated in a podded design, was short of the 30-knot speed requirement; would not satisfy the Navy's other requirements; and presented a moderate development risk. In contrast, the Gold Team's fallback motor met the Navy's requirements, and was considered to be low risk as a result of its technological maturity. In summary, the agency found that, overall, the Gold Team's IPS solution was more advantageous than the Blue Team's podded IPS approach.

One way to reduce manpower requirements is to simplify replenishment. For example, "gun clips" for the AGS each will hold eight projectiles and eight cartridges, which will come pre-packaged to the ship in a single 6,000-pound unit. A mechanized system will handle the units horizontally until the final strike down into the DD(X) magazine, where the package will be upended and stowed vertically. Food and other stores will also be packaged in similar boxes, and stowed below using the same handling system. This speeds up underway replenishment, and reduces the amount of crew intervention. This replaces the manpower-intensive "human chain" involving all hands to carry and stow individual shells, cartridges, or cases of food.

Reduced manning on Naval vessels require automated fire suppression systems to compensate for the reduced size of damage control parties. Fine water spray or water mist systems are attractive from a total ship protection standpoint. Application of this technology to electronics spaces is problematic in terms of collateral damage to equipment, performance for involved cabinets, and performance in sub-floors. A previously conducted fire hazard analysis identified gaseous agent systems as the system of choice for critical/high value spaces in a peacetime fire scenario. However, in wartime scenarios where the enclosure integrity cannot be assured, or the primary fire threat is in an adjacent space, the effectiveness of gaseous agent systems are severely compromised. A 2002 analysis of protection options for the DD(X) class destroyer indicates that there is not an optimum system when all factors of manning, automation, and performance are considered for both peacetime and war time scenarios. The concept of an inert gas/water mist hybrid fire suppression system was proposed to address this issue. The proposed technology involves the combined use of fine water spray and inert gas fire suppressants (e.g. nitrogen).

Weight is a challenge for individual subsystems and the ship as a whole. The integrated power system, advanced gun system, and integrated deckhouse all have encountered problems staying within weight limits. These problems have contributed to overall weight growth in DD(X). As a result, as of mid 2005 the design was slightly over the margin reserved for weight in the system development phase, which ended with critical design review in August 2005. A number of key events to demonstrate technology occured near the end of this phase. Other elements of the design for certain subsystems, including space issues for the power system and materials issues on the deckhouse, remained unclear. These challenges could result in changes late in design or during construction, leading to higher costs.

The Navy continued development of the DDG 1000 Probability of Raid Annihilation test bed, which is modeling and simulation that will be used, in conjunction with live fire testing using the Self-Defense Test Ship, to assess DDG 1000s capability to defeat threat anti-ship cruise missiles and aircraft.

In January 2013, DOT&E sent a memorandum to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition) outlining the need for a threat torpedo surrogate to support operational testing of DDG 1000 and other ships/ submarines. In September 2015, the Navy completed a formal study to identify capability gaps in the currently available torpedo surrogates and to present an analysis of alternatives for specific investments to improve threat emulation ability.

The Navy study on threat torpedo surrogates confirmed DOT&Es concerns that current torpedo surrogates have significant gaps in threat representation for operational testing and the study provided recommendations for improving current threat torpedo emulation. However, as of 2014 the Navy had yet to provide its plan to obtain adequate torpedo surrogates to effectively characterize DDG 1000 Zumwalt class destroyer performance in operational test.

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