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DDG-1000 Zumwalt / DD(X) Program History

  • DD-X Program - 2005
  • DD-X Program - 2006
  • DDG-1000 Program - 2007
  • DDG-1000 Program - 2008
  • DDG-1000 Program - 2009
  • DDG-1000 Program - 2010
  • DDG-1000 Program - 2011
  • DDG-1000 Program - 2012
  • DDG-1000 Program - 2013
  • DDG-1000 Program - 2014
  • DDG-1000 Program - 2015
  • DDG-1000 Program - 2016
  • On 1 November 2001 the Navy announced that it would issue a revised Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Future Surface Combatant Program. Formerly known as DD 21, the program would be called "DD(X)" to more accurately reflect the program purpose, which was to produce a family of advanced technology surface combatants, not a single ship class. Instead of building the large DD 21 destroyer, the Navy could use the advanced technology on a full range of ships, including a downsized destroyer, an even smaller warship to operate in coastal waters, and a larger cruiser.

    One of the concerns about the DD 21 was that it was much larger than the current DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. Another concern [reportedly of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz] was that the Navy was investing too much in a ship primarily designed to accommodate the long-range Advanced Gun System. The House Appropriations Committee voted in October 2001 to cut funding for the DD 21 program by 75 percent. The Navy subsequently restructured the program, which was renamed the DD(X). The new "downsized" destroyer was slated to displace 12,000 tons, instead of the 16,000 tons planned for the DD 21.

    The Navy initially planned to develop DD(X) over four years, procuring the first one in 2005 to enter service in 2011. The initial DD(X) was characterized as being a technology demonstrator for future surface combatants, rather than a design that would quickly enter serial production. Construction of the Arleigh Burke-class of destroyers was extended from 2006 to 2009 as a result of the restructuring of the DD 21 program into the DD(X) program.

    The revision of the program was based on the Navy's continued careful examination of DD 21 as it reached the source selection milestone in Spring 2001. At that time, the Navy delayed the down-select decision between the two competing DD 21 teams in order to take advantage of ongoing reviews being conducted in the Department of Defense, including the Quadrennial Defense Review. The Navy issued a revised request for proposal for DD(X) on 3 December 2001, and planned to down-select a single industry team to be the design agent and technology developer in Spring 2002.

    Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz approved the revised program focus and reaffirmed the Department's support for the Future Surface Combatant Program. "President Bush has made transformation of the Department of Defense a high priority. Through DD(X), the Navy has charted a course to transformation that will provide capability across the full spectrum of naval warfare. The Navy's strategy supports assured access to littoral regions and also develops the capability to defeat the air and missile defense threats the nation's naval forces will face in the future."

    Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics E. C. "Pete" Aldridge stated that "the new program focus and new RFP will enable the Navy to fully leverage the great work already done by the two industry teams, continue risk mitigation measures and permit appropriate spiral development of technology and engineering to support a range of future surface ships to meet our Nation's maritime requirements well into the 21st Century," Aldridge said. "The DD(X) program will be the technology driver for the surface fleet of the future."

    "With the approval of this strategy, the Navy has defined its surface combatant roadmap for the future in a manner which ensures all maritime missions can be accomplished. Through DD(X), we are taking a significant step toward providing improved combat capability for our Sailors and Marines," said Navy Secretary Gordon England.

    Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark said the DD(X) program reflected an awareness that effectively defeating future threats, while accomplishing naval missions, would require a range of naval capabilities and different surface platforms. "One size fits all will not work on the future battlefield," Clark said. "We must continue to exploit the robust R&D effort made on DD 21 even as we focus our research and technology funding of other approaches such as the Littoral Combat Ship concept."

    Though the first class of ships would be nearly identical to the DD 21 destroyer that had been on the drawing board for a few years, possible changes to future generations of ships would not be stymied by having only one plan and design. After the class was designed, the next step would be to build a new ship that the Navy is calling "CG(X)" that focuses more on air warfare, to include the Navy's role in ballistic missile defense. DD 21 was focused on land-attack missions, which are very important, but that was not the only thing the Navy needed to accomplish.

    The change reopened the focus to keep other missions in mind and the Navy expected to see cost-saving benefits by being able to develop technology that could be used on a family of ship classes rather than duplicating efforts and going through the same process each time.

    The program's revamping meant the Navy had to rebuild its profile for the new ships, and did not know how many vessels would be built or at what cost. Under DD 21, the Navy anticipated a production of 32 destroyers. It did not have a cost estimate because the builder and designer have not been selected. With DD 21, the Navy divided planning into two teams. The Blue Team solicited shipbuilding plans from General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works subsidiary in Maine with technology from Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The Gold Team did the same, working with Ingalls Shipbuilding Company in Mississippi and parent Northrop Grumman Corp.

    The DD(X) program focused on developing 10 [initially 11] key Engineering Development Models (EDM) to demonstrate technologies critical to future warships. The EDMs included electric drive and integrated power management systems; multi-function and volume search radar suites, the Advanced Gun System, and new hull design emphasizing efficiency at 30-knots sustained speed, mission payload growth capacity and stealth.

    While the DD(X) system design work was proceeding, the EDMs were built and tested in parallel for key systems such as the integrated power system (IPS), the advanced gun system (AGS), and an integrated radar suite. Land-based and selected at-sea testing of the EDMs would be performed with the results engineered into the total ship system design. The second shipbuilder, Bath Iron Works, would perform DD(X) design and test activities as a subcontractor to Northrop Grumman, thus ensuring that both shipbuilders can compete on an equal basis for the next contractual phase, detail design and construction.

    The Navy initially hoped to begin production by 2005, but in 2004 delayed delivery from 2008 to 2011, with commissioning in 2013. The number of ships, two dozen, and time that bending metal would start to build the first ship and the time of introduction to the fleet would be driven by how technology developed and matured.

    The Navy announced on 29 April 2002 that Ingalls Shipbuilding Inc., Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) had been selected as the lead design agent for the DD(X) ship program. Included was the award of a cost-plus award-fee contract in the amount of $2,879,347,000 for design agent activities such as the systems design of the DD(X) destroyer, and the design, construction and test of its major subsystems. NGSS was the leader of a team of contractors called the "Gold Team" that included Raytheon Systems Co. as the combat systems integrator, and a number of other companies. Gold Team's proposal also incorporated "Blue Team" member Bath Iron Works (BIW) as a subcontractor to perform DD(X) design and test activities, which would ensure BIW would have the ability to produce a detailed DD(X) design and build these ships in the future.

    BIW protested the Naval Sea Systems Command's (NAVSEA) award of a contract to Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc., under request for proposals (RFP) No. N00024-02-R-2302, to serve as the design agent for technology development with respect to the DD(X) multi-mission naval surface combatant program. BIW asserted that the competition was not conducted on a common basis and that the evaluation of proposals was unreasonable and otherwise improper.

    The award of the DD(X) Design Agent contract in 2002 signaled the start of a revolution for the Navy's surface combatant fleet, with the development of transformational technologies that would create new capabilities while reducing crew size and yielding significant combat advantage. DD(X) was intended to be the foundation of a family of surface combatants, including a future cruiser, CG(X), and littoral combat ship (LCS), providing the nation with a balanced set of warfighting capabilities to meet the national security requirements in the 21st Century.

    It was planned that the DD(X) program would provide a baseline for spiral development of the DD(X) and the future cruiser or CG(X) with emphasis on common hullform and technology development. Advanced combat system technology and networking capabilities from DD(X) and CG(X) would be leveraged in the spiral development of the littoral combat ship to produce a survivable, capable near-land platform for the 21st century. The intent was to innovatively combine the transformational technologies developed in the DD(X) program with the many ongoing R&D efforts involving mission focused surface ships to produce a state-of-the art surface combatant to defeat adversary attempts to deny access for U.S. forces.

    Many of these technologies were intended to be incorporated into the DD 21 program. However, the DD 21 program allowed very little technical risk reduction though many of the technologies are quite transformational. With DD 21, the Navy was taking a single step to full capability. There was a success-oriented assumption that everything would proceed on schedule and cost. There were limited opportunities for prototyping and no room for error. In the end, these factors resulted in a program at risk of significant cost growth. Thus, DD(X) was formulated to employ a broad range of strategies to make our entire family of next-generation surface combatants more affordable.

    To mitigate the high technical risk, the restructured DD(X) program added several land-based and sea-based prototypes for the key technologies. This provides an excellent means of reducing risk within each area. The Navy would see potential problems earlier in the process, providing a better chance to solve them. The intent was that this strategy improves the chances of delivering a functional destroyer within cost and schedule.

    Additionally, the Navy planned to produce the lead ship using RDT&E funds. The Program Manager would be required to demonstrate progress on an annual basis to defend his budget. The Navy could react to problems without the risk of resorting to prior-year completion funding. The program manager could focus on establishing an efficient process for manufacturing the DD(X) class and avoid trading away producibility initiatives when costs increase. Being able to adjust the RDT&E budget for the lead ship would then provide the best chance to control costs and define a production process that would allow the Navy to affordably build these next-generation surface combatants.




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