DDG-1000 Zumwalt / DD(X) Program History
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.
The Navy's FY05 budget requested funding for the first of eight new DDX destroyers by 2009, to be built by Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Co. The National Defense Authorization Act for FY05, authorized $1.5 billion for the DD(X) destroyer program, including the $221.1 million requested by President Bush for detail design and advanced construction of the lead ship and an additional $99.4 million for detail design of the second ship.
In 2005 Congress fully supported the DD(X) budget request and the DD(X), now named the Zumwalt class, was ready to start construction. The FY06 Budget request included $1.1B in RDT&E for continued technology development and $716M in SCN advance procurement funds for the first and second DD(X). The FYDP included full funding for the first DD(X) in FY07 and construction of one ship per year in each follow on year. H.R. 2863, the House Defense Appropriations Bill, added 4 additional ships: one DDG-51 class destroyer ($1.4 billion), two LCS ships (an increase of $440 million), and one additional T-AKE ($380 million). Included was a recommendation to cut the Navy's DD(X) destroyer program by a total of about $1 billion, the combination of a reduction of $0.7 billion for advance procurement and $0.3 billion out of R&D. Some $670 million would remain in R&D. The recommendation was consistent with the levels approved by the House for the DD(X) program in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY06.
The Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for FY06 included $765.992 million for the DD(X) destroyer. The DD(X) destroyer was in the construction phase and would replace the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates and Spruance class destroyers. The FY06 appropriation conferees agreed to provide a total of $305,516,000 for advance procurement for the DD(X) class of ships instead of $320,516,000 as proposed by the Senate and no appropriation as proposed by the House. The conferees directed the Navy to include future funding requests for the DD(X) in the Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy appropriation. Within the funds provided, $221,116,000 was only for design and advance procurement requirements associated with the first ship of the DD(X) class and $84,400,000 was only for design and advance procurement requirements associated with construction of the second ship at an alternative second source shipyard. The conferees directed that no funds should be available for the procurement of long lead time material for items that are dependent upon delivery of a DD(X) key technology unless that technology has undergone testing, thereby reducing risk to overall program costs. The conferees directed that full funding of the remaining financial requirement for these ships, not including traditional advance procurement requirements, should be included in a future budget request.
The DD(X) program's demonstrations and component tests met the exit criteria for its engineering development models established by the Undersecretary's August 2004 memorandum. While progress had been made, the level of technology maturity demonstrated remained below what was recommended by best practices. Tests of several engineering development models resulted in successful demonstration of exit criteria. In other cases, tests identified technical problems that needed to be overcome before ship installation or that had led to changes in the ship design. The permanent magnet motor, a key element of the integrated power system, failed tests, and was replaced by the advanced induction motor. Because the Navy maintained the induction motor as a fallback technology, the integrated power system was able to meet the exit criteria. The substitution of the advanced induction motor changed the noise, weight, and space usage of the power system, which had implications for the ship design. The multifunction radar, a segment of the dual band radar, successfully completed the land-based testing described in the exit criteria, but the volume search radar had encountered technical problems with a key component. The advanced gun system demonstrated exit criteria through modeling, and additional component tests verified this performance. An early failure in required munitions flight testing was overcome, and two further flight tests were completed successfully.
Tests of the peripheral vertical launch system led to a redesign effort. Tests to determine the suitability of the new design were completed in June 2005. The integrated deckhouse and apertures development model began testing for antenna placement and radar cross section. Questions about the properties of the proposed component materials had delayed production of an article for fire and shock testing.
In early 2005 some with the Department of Defense suggested a recompetition of DD(X) as a short-term cost reduction strategy. Senator Trent Lott [R-MS] strongly objected to this suggestion, indicating that delays would cost American taxpayers much more throughout the DD(X) program's life cycle. He further indicated that the DD(X) program was crucial to retaining America's shipbuilding capacity. He said without the DD(X) program, American shipyards could face closure which could result in America being put into the unenviable position of asking foreign shipyards to construct America's Navy or Coast Guard vessels. The Navy responded by awarding two preliminary contracts for DD(X) planning including efforts to prepare the DD(X) radar test facility and completion of the engineering development model and the critical design review methods.
The US Navy successfully achieved a significant milestone for the multimission DD(X) destroyer with the completion of a system-wide Critical Design Review (CDR) on 14 September 2005. The review represented the culmination of years of design effort that encompassed the ship, mission system, human and shore designs that comprised DD(X).
The completion of CDR marked the end of Phase III development, which resulted in the design, construction and test of 10 engineering development models (EDM) that would potentially make DD(X) the Navy's most capable multimission surface combatant ever constructed. The Navy and National Team were said to have accomplished the most thorough ship design and integration process in the history of Navy shipbuilding.
DD(X) CDR reflected a disciplined, rigorous process of risk mitigation in 10 EDMs. CDRs for each of the 10 EDMs have achieved both technical maturity as well as significant cost insight. Completion of the ship CDR was the culmination of three years of work executed on schedule and within one percent of stated budget.
The National Team and Navy achieved an unprecedented level of system design integration to deliver a design that provided the required warfighting capability. The DD(X) program matured the systems needed to build this class, and laid the basis to proceed to Milestone B and begin detail design and construction.
In November 2005, the Department of Defense granted Milestone B approval, authorizing entrance into Phase IV of the program, including the detail design and construction of the two lead ships. On 28 November 2005 Kenneth Kreig, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition signed the final document needed to proceed with production of the groundbreaking DD(X) destroyer. The signing of the Destroyer Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) was the last major milestone needed before the Navy could proceed with detailed design for the ship and procure actual material for ship construction. Until signing of this memo the Navy had not officially moved forward with provisions to acquire materials or delineated how many ships would be initially constructed. The memo specifically approved a low rate initial production quantity of eight ships. There remained only one procedural review before construction could actually commence. However the review was essentially a routine one that would reconcile Navy and DoD individual program cost estimates and establishes testing requirements for the ship.
Under the Navy's proposed dual-yard acquisition strategy, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works would simultaneously build lead ships beginning in FY07. Pending final approval of the plan, the Defense Department had authorized the Navy to award advance contracts to assist both shipyards to prepare to transition into detail design after the Milestone B decision. Development of major ship systems would continue under separate contracts.
The 2007 Budget provided $2.6 billion to begin construction of two ships. The DD(X), in conjunction with the LCS and future CG(X) cruiser, would create a complementary, balanced force to address a spectrum of threats in an uncertain future. Congress denied a winner-take-all acquisition strategy in the FY05 Defense Emergency Supplemental Act and FY06 National Defense Authorization Act for the DD(X), and as a result in FY07 the Department of Defense proposed a "dual lead ship" strategy which would maximize competitive pressure and keep design efforts on track. This section would provide authority to enter into construction of the first two DD(X)s based on funding over two years from the Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy (SCN) appropriation.
In order to accomplish these objectives, the Navy has defined a new way ahead: "Dual Lead Ships." This effort tried to create a strong, mutually dependent partnership between the shipyards and the Navy to reduce cost and improve collaboration. Importantly, the Navy's new strategy fully addressed industry's key issues and responded to Congressional concerns. The key features are:
- Sole source lead ship detail design and construction contracts with the shipbuilders
- Equal split of common detail design with each yard doing their respective production design
- Shipyards procure electronics, ordnance, and IPS from system developers as contractor furnished equipment
- Funding phased to synchronize start of fabrication dates in both shipyards
- The shipyards are mutually dependent on each other to urgently and cooperatively complete the DD(X) detail design
- Sole source contracts to software and system developers
- Transition to production of systems culminating in Production Readiness Reviews
- Complete software releases and provide to shipyards as Government furnished information
- Importantly, this approach lowers the cost to the Navy by avoiding incremental pass through fee costs
- Keep open the option for allocated procurement or various competitions in Fiscal Year 2009 and beyond
Being able to benchmark the lead ships against each other provided an unprecedented pressure and opportunity to control cost on the lead ships. Finally, because each builder would have completed significant construction on sections of the ships and would have completed detail design, the Navy would have information and options for future acquisition strategy decisions.
Split funding in FY07 and FY08 would synchronize the construction of both lead ships in the same fiscal year without creating an unaffordable spike in the SCN account. A critical aspect of the Department's acquisition plan was that both shipyards be positioned on a fair and equal footing. If one shipyard started construction first, that yard would have both a real and perceived competitive and technical advantage for several years over the follow yard. Additionally, the follow shipyard would have little incentive to provide design products in timely manner to the lead yard. Split funding the first two ships would not set a precedent for future funding of additional next generation destroyers and the Navy has budgeted for funds adequate to fully fund follow ships.
The FY07 Budget request included $794M in RDT&E, N for continued software development and $2.6B in SCN for the first increment of the first and second DD(X). While the funding strategy for these ships was unique, the reasons for supporting a dual lead ship approach had been compelling. Based on Congressional direction that prohibited a winner take all strategy, the Navy consulted with industry, OSD, and Congress to chart our way forward for the DD(X) program. The key objectives are to acquire the DD(X) Class destroyers in as cost effective a manner as possible, create pressures to control and reduce cost, acquire these ships on a timeline that meets the warfighters' needs, lower overall risk in the program, treat each of the industry partners fairly, and preserve a viable industrial capability for complex surface combatants.
The Navy's FY06-FY11 Future Years Defense Plan identified funding for one ship per year from FY07 to FY11 for a total of 5 ships. As of 1 December 2005, the Navy planned to build 8-12 DD(X). The Marine Requirements Oversight Council (MROC) position was that there is a need for 24 DD(X) to fully support a major combat operation within desired time frames. The Marines state that they could accomplish the mission with fewer than 24 ships at risk of added time to operation and hitting fewer targets.
As of March 2007, three of DDG 1000's 12 critical technologies were fully mature. While 7 other technologies were approaching full maturity, 5 of them were not expected to be fully mature until after ship installation as testing in a realistic environment was not considered feasible. The 2 remaining technologies, the volume search radar and total ship computing environment, had only completed component level demonstrations and subsequently remained at lower levels of maturity. Concurrent with its efforts to mature ship technologies, the Navy had initiated detail design activities in the program. The Navy was planning to complete at least 75 percent of DDG 1000's total detail design products ahead of lead ship construction.
The seven other technologies then approaching full maturity included the advanced gun system and its projectile, hull form, infrared signature mockups, integrated deckhouse, integrated power system, and peripheral vertical launching system. The Navy currently planned to complete development of the integrated deckhouse and peripheral vertical launching system prior to beginning construction on DDG 1000's two lead ships. However, practical limitations prevented the advanced gun system and its projectile, hull form, integrated power system, and infrared signature mockups from being fully demonstrated in an at-sea environment until after lead ship installation. Two other technologies, the volume search radar and total ship computing environment, remained at lower levels of maturity as of March 2007.
The volume search radar, along with the multifunction radar, together comprise DDG 1000's planned dual band radar system. While the multi-function radar had reached maturity as of March 2007, considerable testing remained for the volume search radar. The Navy planned to install volume search radar equipment at a land-based test facility during March 2007. Following installation, the volume search radar would undergo land-based testing, which the Navy planned to complete by March 2008 in an effort to increase the radar's maturity prior to lead ship construction start planned for July 2008. However, full maturity of the technology would not occur until after ship installation. In addition, because the efforts were concurrent, there was risk that any delays or problems discovered in testing for the volume search radar could ultimately impact dual band radar production plans. According to Navy officials, in the event the volume search radar experienced delays in testing, it would not be integrated as part of the dual band radar into the deckhouse units that would be delivered to the shipbuilders. Instead, the Navy would have to task the shipbuilder with installing the volume search radar into the deckhouse, which program officials reported would require more labor hours allocated according to a 2007 Government Accountability Office review.
The Navy's total ship computing environment for DDG 1000 required developing hardware infrastructure and writing and releasing six blocks of software code. Although development of the first three software blocks progressed in line with cost and schedule estimates, program officials reported that changes in the availability of key subsystems developed external to the DDG 1000 program, introduction of nondevelopment items, and changes in program integration and test needs prompted the Navy to defer some of the functionalities planned in software release four to software blocks five and six, and full maturity of the integrated system would not be attained until after ship construction start.
The Navy responded to the March 2007 Government Accountability review, stating that the assessment was factually correct, but misleading in areas of technology maturity and program funding. According to the Navy, DDG 1000 critical technologies achieved technology readiness levels appropriate to gain authorization in November 2005 to enter detail design phase. Since that event, technologies had been further tested, and were all on track to meet cost and schedule targets. Also, given the unique nature of shipbuilding, with detail design and construction efforts spread over approximately 5 years, the Navy claimed that comparing DDG 1000 technology readiness levels to GAO-developed best practices criteria was not valid. Further, the Navy noted that GAO's cost comparison computing percent change from January 1998 to the current program baseline did not account for program progression through the acquisition cycle and could be misinterpreted as cost growth. The GAO countered in their report suggesting that the approach was valid because previous studies had shown that technological unknowns discovered late in development led to cost increases and schedule delays.
The FY09 Budget Submission for construction of seven ships of this class was based on the DDG 1000 Baseline 5.3 design for a DDG 1000 of 14,564 tons displacement with two Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) including a total magazine capacity of 600 rounds. DDG 1000, a multisurface combatant, was to be the centerpiece of the US Navy's future surface fleet transformation and would serve as a versatile asset in the context of future Naval Strategy. Armed with an array of Sea Strike weapons, DDG 1000 would provide the Joint Force Commander with precision strike and volume fires. Designed with sustainable payload, multi-spectral stealth and optimal manning, DDG 1000 would take the fight to the enemy with unprecedented striking power, sustainability, survivability and information dominance.
Of the seven technologies approaching full maturity as of March 2008, the Navy expected to demonstrate full maturity of the integrated deckhouse and peripheral vertical launch system by the start of ship construction in July 2008. Production of a large-scale deckhouse test unit was under way and final validation of the vertical launching system would occur in spring 2008. Practical limitations prevented the Navy from fully demonstrating all critical technologies at sea prior to ship installation. Testing of other technologies continued through ship construction start.
Due to scheduling issues for the lead ships, the Navy did not have time to fully test the integrated power system prior to shipyard delivery and instead requested funds in FY08 to procure an additional unit. The Navy would conduct integrated power system testing in 2010 using this unit at a land-based test site. Considerable software development remained and land-based testing would mark the first integrated testing between the power generation and distribution system and the control system. If problems were discovered during testing, construction plans and costs were said by the GAO to potentially be at risk because the power systems needed for the first two ships would already have been delivered to the shipyards.
The Navy continued to test prototypes of the ship's hull form to demonstrate stability in extreme sea conditions at higher speeds. According to Navy officials, existing computer simulation tools over-predicted the ship's tendency to capsize. The Navy was relying on testing of scale models in tanks and on the Chesapeake Bay, and was updating its computer simulation tool. Testing was aimed at developing guidance for operating the ship safely under different sea conditions.
In response to the GAO's March 2008 assessment, the Navy stated that DDG 1000 would have the most mature design of any surface combatant at the start of fabrication, resulting in a more affordable construction, with fewer changes. According to the Navy, successful completion of its design review in 2005 certified that its critical technologies were capable of performing at planned levels and sufficiently mature to remain in the ship baseline, continuing into detail design and construction. Due to the long timeline required to design, develop, and deliver a Navy ship, the Navy stated that some concurrency was unavoidable to prevent the immediate obsolescence of technologies and preclude additional costs associated with stretching the timeline to allow all technologies to reach readiness levels meeting GAO best practice criteria prior to the start of ship construction. The Navy concluded that DDG 1000 strikes the best balance between management risk and delivering required capability within cost and schedule.On 22 July 2008 Members of Maine's congressional delegation said that the Navy had decided to build only two of the advanced DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyers. Two ships are already on order from Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula and Bath Iron Works in Maine. The administration had requested about $2.5 billion in fiscal 2009 to buy a third DDG-1000. On 14 July 2009 it had been reported that the service wanted to end production of the DDG-1000 after just two ships. Inside the Navy, a trade publication, reported that navy leaders wanted now prefer to buy 11 more DDG-51 destroyers, an older, less capable and less expensive ship. The unit cost of the DDG-51 is about half that of the DDG-1000.
In this context, the status of the CG(X) Next Generation Cruiser, which was to have been a missile-defense variant of the DDG-1000, or the CGN(X) Nuclear Guided Missile Cruiser, remained unclear. It also raises larger questions about the viability of STOM - Ship-to-Objective Maneuver and 1996 - OMFTS - Operational Maneuver from the Sea, along with the host of other programs that have been justified under these doctrinal constructs.
This would mark the second time this program had been cancelled. On 01 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 will now be called "DD(X)" to more accurately reflect the program purpose. The new "downsized" destroyer was slated to displace 12,000 tons, instead of the 16,000 tons planned for the DD 21. This did not happen, and within a few years the DDG-1000 Zumwalt had re-emerged, little changed from the DD-21 Zumwalt.
On 19 August 2008 it was reported that the Navy had changed course yet again and decided to build a third DDG 1000 destroyer, at Bath Iron Works. Maine Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that Navy Secretary Donald Winter had informed her of the decision. The move came only a month after the Navy announced it would cap the Zumwalt program at two ships. The Senate had authorized $2.6 billion in funding for a third ship, while the House of Representatives had eliminated the money from its version of the defense appropriations bill.
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England indicated in a letter to Collins that the shift was due in part to concerns about disruption in the nation's shipbuilding base. "This plan will provide stability of the industrial base and continue the development of advanced surface ship technologies such as radar systems, stealth, magnetic and acoustic quieting, and automated damage control," England wrote.
Sen. Collins stated that Secretary Winter had told her that Navy also planned funding of long lead time items to restart production of the DDG-51. The Navy had announced plans to restart the DDG 51-line with one ship in 2010, two in 2011, one in 2012, two in 2013 and one each in 2014 and 2015.
The DDG-1000 is the primary development program for the Navy's Family of Ships (FoS) strategy. Eliminating the authorization for funding the DDG-1000 class in this bill could dramatically increase the cost of current and future Navy shipbuilding programs, including the next generation cruiser, CG(X). Additionally, the industrial base that is so vital to our transition to a 21st century fleet of surface combatants could be decimated. There are more than 10,000 skilled workers in the U.S. working on the Mission Systems Equipment that is intended to support not only DDG-1000, but the entire Family of Ships. It will be extremely difficult and costly to reconstitute this workforce in the future.
Sustaining this program lays the groundwork for the Navy's long standing plan, which includes the transition from this new destroyer to the next generation cruiser, CG(X), using the ZUMWALT hull and systems. Funding the third ship in the ZUMWALT Class was essential in FY09 to avoid the potential cost and long-term schedule implications of a break in production.
Restarting procurement of the DDG-51 could have unforeseen costs that could negate the perceived financial benefit of returning to the older class of ship. The Chief of Naval Operations submitted the request for the DDG-1000 and clearly stated the Navy's need to build a total of 7 ships of this class. The Navy has ensured that the ten key technologies incorporated into this new ship class have been well tested and their performance verified, and the ship design prior to start of construction will be more mature than that for any other surface combatant ship -- indicators that the Navy well understands the program's costs. The Navy and Congress have supported this critical multi-purpose ship for fleet operations as a result of rigorous review, engineering development model risk reduction, computer-aided design, significant research and development investment, and updated cost modeling.
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.
Led by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., in July 2008 a group of lawmakers from Massachusetts and Rhode Island had urged Defense Secretary Robert Gates to reconsider the Navy's plans to buy only two DDG 1000 destroyers. On 25 July 2008 Senator Edward M. Kennedy released regarding a letter from Under Secretary John J. Young, Jr., which detailed the benefits of the DDG 1000 destroyer."Under Secretary Young's letter clearly argues against the Navy's plan to cancel the DDG-1000 program. The data Secretary Young provides shows the folly of abandoning the DDG-1000 program to build more DDG-51's. It could cost the Navy over $4 billion to halt production of DDG-1000s at two ships. Even more important, as Under Secretary Young's letter emphasizes, the DDG-1000 has significant advantages over the DDG-51 on certain missions. The Navy needs both types of destroyers and it would be a serious mistake not to continue DDG-1000 production."
On July 23, 2008 U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) met with U.S. Navy Secretary Donald Winter and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead about the Navy's proposal to limit the construction of the number of DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers to two ships. "Just as I told BIW President Dugan Shipway in a separate meeting this morning, I made clear to Navy leadership this afternoon that I will move heaven and earth to ensure the man hours promised to BIW through the DDG 1000 program remain equivalent under this new proposal - after all, the men and women of BIW have worked tirelessly to make BIW an indispensable national asset, providing the Navy and our nation with model efficiency and workmanship - and it is also critical we maintain our country's industrial shipbuilding capability."
Snowe went on to say, "I was surprised and deeply dismayed to learn of the Navy's proposal, especially as - from the time I Chaired the Senate Seapower subcommittee and held eight hearings on the successor to the DDG-51 and visited personally with Navy commanders in the Persian Gulf in 1999 - Navy officials have repeatedly testified to the necessity of the DDG-1000. In meeting after meeting, Navy officials over the years demanded a destroyer capable of successfully defending the Nation's interests in the 21st Century, and the professionals of BIW stepped up to the challenge in winning the DDG 1000 contract and producing a quality product on-time and on-budget.
"For years, Navy leadership has advanced the DDG-1000 as much more capable than the DDG-51 in the littoral or coastal regions of the world, where more than 80 percent of the planet's population lives. It was clear that the world's Number One Navy had an increasing strategic focus on the littorals, the threats to maritime forces in the littorals, and the capabilities that would be provided by the DDG 1000. Indeed, Navy leadership testified in support of the DDG 1000 before Congress as recently as this year. Admiral Roughead, in testimony, said the DDG 1000 will 'provide independent forward presence and deterrence and it will operate as an integral part of joint and combined expeditionary forces.'
On July 14, 2008 Senator Susan Collins, a Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, commented on the news report that the Navy plans to discontinue the Zumwalt Class DDG-1000 program: "The decision by the House Armed Services Committee to slash funding for the DDG-1000 has triggered a review within the Department of Defense on the future of the new destroyer. During the past several weeks, I have had extensive discussions with the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Roughead, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, and Defense Assistant Secretary John Young about the future of the program, which Navy officials have repeatedly testified provides much-needed capabilities. Funding for a third destroyer was in the FY09 budget request sent to Congress by the Navy. The Senate version of the Defense Authorization legislation fully funds the $2.6 billion request, while the House version fails to provide funding to build any surface combatant at all, thus creating a terrible gap in work for BIW. If the Navy is considering changing its shipbuilding requirements, I would expect the CNO to work with me and other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee to ensure a stable, well-funded shipbuilding plan that meets the need for expanded capabilities and keeps our skilled shipbuilding workforce strong."
On 15 September 2011 the U. S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works a $1.8 billion contract for the construction of DDG 1001 and DDG 1002, the next two ships in the Zumwalt-class program. DDG 1001 was scheduled to be delivered in December 2015 and DDG 1002 was scheduled to be delivered in February 2018. “This contract enables us to maintain a strong base of quality shipbuilding jobs in Maine and continue our contributions to sustaining the U.S. Navy fleet,” said Jeff Geiger, president of Bath Iron Works. “It provides Bath Iron Works with a healthy backlog of work and reflects the Navy’s continued commitment to the DDG-1000 program, as well as their confidence in our ab ility to build and deliver all three ships of this class."
On 17 November 2011, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works celebrated the keel laying of Zumwalt (DDG 1000), the first ship in the planned three-ship Zumwalt class of guided-missile destroyers. The keel unit is the 4,000-ton, heavily outfitted mid-forebody section of the ship, which was moved from the shipyard’s Ultra Hall construction facility onto the building ways in late October 2011.
On 23 May 2013, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works celebrated the keel laying of Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), the second ship in the planned three-ship Zumwalt class of guided-missile destroyers. The keel unit is the 4,400-ton, heavily outfitted mi d-forebody section of the ship, which was moved from the shipyard’s Ultra Hall construction facility earlier in the month onto the building ways. The ship is named for Petty Officer Second Class Michael Monsoor, a U.S. Navy SEAL who was killed in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006. Monsoor was on a joint SEAL-Iraqi Army team operating from a rooftop when an insurgent threw a grenade at them. Monsoor jumped on the grenade, covering it and saving three fellow SEALS and eight Iraqi Army soldiers. Monsoor posthumously received the Medal of Honor from President George W. Bush on April 8, 2008. He was also awarded the Bronze Star and the Silver Star for his service in Iraq.
The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works $212 million on 05 August 2013 for the design and construction of a steel deckhouse and hangar and construction of aft Peripheral Vertical Launching System (PVLS) modules for integration into Lyndon B Johnson (DDG 1002), the third ship of the US Navy’s Zumwalt-class of guided missile destroyers. “The design and production of these critical compone nts of DDG 1002 will help maintain our specialized engineering and design skills and provides additional stability to our manufacturing workload,” said Jeff Geiger, president of Bath Iron Works. “We are please d to have been selected for this important work.”
The Zumwalt-class deckhouse includes the ship's bridge , radars, antennas and intake/exhaust systems in a structure with a significantly smaller radar cross-section than other ships in the modern Navy fleet. The enclosed hangar is designed to accommodate two medium-lift helicopters or other mission-related equipment. The PVLS modules distribute the ship’s missile launchers in separate four-cell launcher compartments along the ship's hull.
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