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DDG-1000 Zumwalt / DD(X)
Multi-Mission Surface Combatant
Future Surface Combatant

As a result of a Federal Government shutdown, the US Navy announced on 11 October 2013 that the christening of the future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) originally scheduled for Oct. 19 had been cancelled and postponed until a future date. Following the resolution of the shutown, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works floated off the Navy's first Zumwalt-class destroyer 28 October 2013 at their Bath, Maine shipyard. The ship began its translation from Bath Iron Works' land-level construction facility to a floating dry dock on 25 October. Once loaded into the dry dock, the dock was flooded and the ship was removed from its specially designed cradle. Once the dock became flooded, the ship floated off and tied to a pier on the Kennebec River.

There are currently three DDG 1000 class destroyers in production at Bath Iron Works, Zumwalt (DDG 1000), Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002). Zumwalt is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2015. The keel laying ceremony for DDG 1001 took place in May 2013 and Start of Fabrication for DDG 1002 was in April 2012.

Developed under the DD(X) destroyer program, DDG-1000 Zumwalt is the lead ship in a class of next-generation, multi-mission surface combatants tailored for land attack and littoral dominance, with capabilities designed to defeat current and projected threats as well as improve battle force defense.

The Navy's new DD(X) program was initially intended to be the centerpiece a family of three surface combatant ships, including a destroyer, a cruiser and a smaller craft for littoral operations. At one time it seemed that the DD(X) contract could end up totaling $100 billion for some 70 warships in the DD(X) family: destroyers, cruisers, and a downsized seagoing killer called LCS, short for littoral combat ship. The cruiser and destroyer were expected to share a common hull design. The Littoral Combat Ship has an advanced hull designed for high speed and a shallow draft.

The DD(X) was at one time intended to be the centerpiece of a surface combatant family of ships that would deliver a broad range of capabilities. It is provided the baseline for spiral development of technology and engineering to support a range of future ship classes such as CG(X), LHA(R) and CVN-21. This advanced multi-mission destroyer was to bring revolutionary improvements to precise time-critical strike and joint fires for our Expeditionary and Carrier Strike Groups of the future. It expanded the battlespace by over 400%; had the radar cross section of a fishing boat; and was as quiet as a LOS ANGELES Class submarine. DD(X) would also enable the transformation of US operations ashore. Its on-demand, persistent, time-critical strike was intended to revolutionize joint fire support and ground maneuver concepts of operation so that strike fighter aircraft are freed for more difficult targets at greater ranges. DD(X) was to provide credible forward presence while operating independently or as an integral part of naval, joint, or combined expeditionary forces.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. But the DDG-1000 turned out to be too expensive, and only three were authorized. This was not quite as bad as the CGN 9 Long Beach, the 17,525 ton cruiser commissioned in September 1961, intended to be the first of a class, but in practice it was too expensive. As for the DDG-1000, the SC-21 family evaporated, replaced by the unrelated Litoral Combat Ships, and a seemingly endless supply of DDG-51 Arleigh Burke destroyers.

Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics were competitors for the DD(X) contract. The Navy asked the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer to approve the winner-take-all approach, which would force the losing bidder out of the shipbuilding market. In March 2005 twenty lawmakers said the contract to build the Navy's next-generation guided missile destroyer, the DD(X), should not be a winner-take-all contract.

In March 2005 Adm. Vernon Clark, the chief of naval operations, abandoned his goal of building the Navy to a 375-ship fleet. New procedures like keeping ships deployed overseas while rotating the crews mean the Navy will need no more than 325 ships and possibly as few as 260. The rate of building new destroyers would not support more than one shipyard at acceptable costs. The plan envisioned building about 1.4 destroyers annually, but never two a year. Building those ships in two yards would cost an extra $300 million per ship.

The DD-51 destroyers are built at both General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine and at the Northrop Grumman Ingalls Shipyard in Mississippi. One of the two ship builders would lose the contract if the Navy adopts the sole-source plan in the future. The men and women of these shipyards have demonstrated time and again that they build the world's best surface combat ships. But more than local employees, they are a national asset which America must retain. A loss of that magnitude could drive BIW, one of Maine's largest private employers, out of business and would create a monopoly for destroyer production. With DD(X), local employees at Northrop Grumman Ingalls, the leading DD(X) contractor, can be ensured of a relatively steady employment. This is Mississippi's largest private employer. To put it into perspective, Ingalls is about three times the size of Nissan, the state's second largest in terms of job numbers. So the local implications of DD(X) to Mississippi are clear, especially along a Gulf Coast struggling to bounce back from Hurricane Katrina.

The Navy agreed to put on hold its plans to contract with a single shipyard for building all of the nation's stealth DD(X) Destroyers, calling the sole-source proposal "premature." However, the Navy has said it will continue to seek more information on the sole-source strategy, and had not made any final decisions on whether to adopt such a proposal in the future.

On 07 April 2006 the Navy announced that the first DD(X) destroyer will be designated DDG 1000. As the lead ship in the class, it will also be named in honor of former Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt, Jr. Zumwalt was appointed Chief of Naval Operations in 1970. As the youngest man ever to serve as CNO, Zumwalt cemented an acclaimed reputation as a visionary leader and thoughtful reformer. July 4, 2000, then-President Bill Clinton celebrated Zumwalt's accomplishments and memory with the naming of the class and lead ship shortly after the admiral's passing in Durham, N.C., Jan. 2, 2000. Zumwalt was born in San Francisco in 1920 and grew up in Tulare, Calif. He was a cum laude graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1942.

As CNO, Zumwalt initiated wide-ranging reforms in a dramatic effort to revitalize the Navy. Time magazine hailed Zumwalt as "the Navy's most popular leader since World War II." As the Navy's senior officer, he increased the warfighting capabilities of the dwindling U.S. fleet by outfitting remaining ships with more efficient and sophisticated weapons. He retired in 1974. In 1996, he took over as chairman of the board of the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation. In addition to numerous decorations received from the U.S. Navy, including the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (three awards), the Legion of Merit (two awards) and Bronze Star with combat "V," he received decorations and awards from a number of foreign countries. In 1998, Zumwalt was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his service to the United States.

Zumwalt authored two books about his life in the Navy. On Watch (1976) recounts his Navy career and warns Americans about the Soviet naval threat. My Father, My Son (1986), co-authored with his late son, Elmo III, is an account of their Vietnam experiences and his son's tragic illness.

Under the Navy's dual lead ship acquisition strategy proposed in the President's budget for fiscal year 2007, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works will concurrently build dual lead ships. Zumwalt will be delivered in 2012.

On 14 February 2008 the Navy exercised contract modifications for the construction of the dual lead ships of the Zumwalt class (DDG 1000) to General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. DDG 1000 and DDG 1001 are the lead ships of a class of next-generation multi-mission surface combatants tailored for land-attack and littoral dominance. BIW was awarded a $1.4 billion cost-plus contract for the construction of DDG 1000, and NGSB was awarded a $1.4 billion cost-plus contract for construction of DDG 1001.

Compared to current US Navy destroyers, the Zumwalt-class destroyer will triple both current naval surface fire coverage, as well as capability against anti-ship cruise missiles. It has a 50-fold radar cross section reduction compared to current destroyers, improves strike group defense 10-fold and has 10 times the operating area in shallow water regions against mines. The Zumwalt class fills an immediate and critical naval warfare gap, meeting validated Marine Corps fire support requirements.

A return to the old tumblehome configuration, combined with wave piercing technology makes the Northrop Grumman DD(X) design as close to a submarine as a surface ship can be / with the lion's share of the structure actually underwater. The DD(X) design is described as 'wave-piercing,' which means that the designers have deliberately foregone the sort of buoyancy which tends to lift conventional ships over waves. Their motive is clear; they want to minimize ship motion because any motion presents an observing radar with opportunities to pick up the ship. Similarly they will want to minimize rolling motion, and they will have to accept that waves will often break over the ship's deck.

The DD(X) concept is to have watch-standers trained functionally across warfare areas who can be flexibly employed as the situation demands. This approach results in a more compact, flexible watch team, which requires fewer augmentations and which is designed to flexibly respond to a variety of tactical situations. Underpinning this concept is a strategy in which crewmembers will be highly trained across multiple warfare areas or maintenance tasks and advanced skills will apply across multiple disciplines with specialized skills only being used periodically. Watchstations are manned in three sections, or 8-hour shifts, over the course of a day.

The DD(X) destroyer maintenance strategy focuses on allowing sailors to concentrate on war-fighting tasks and skills rather than on ship maintenance and preservation (i.e., "rust busting" skills). The DD(X) maintenance strategy envisions no organizational level repair conducted on the ship.

The DD(X) destroyer will employ extensive automated damage control systems, integrated with an optimally manned damage control organization to quickly suppress and extinguish fires and control their spread.

The Navy plans the DD(X) to be a multi-mission destroyer featuring a composite deckhouse and a Wave-Piercing Tumblehome Hull displacing about 14,000 tons. Optimized for the land-attack mission, it will have two Advanced Gun Systems (AGSs) with a combined magazine capacity of approximately 750 rounds of long-range land attack and conventional munitions. Each AGS will consist of a single-barrel 155mm gun supplied from an automated magazine. An Advanced Vertical Launch System (AVLS) with 80 cells will host Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, Standard Missiles (SM2-MR) for local air defense, Evolved Seasparrow Missiles for engagement of both airborne and seaborne threats, and Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rockets for engagement of submarine threats. Two 40mm Close-In Gun Systems will enhance self-defense against air and surface threats.

DD(X)'s integrated power system will allow sharing of electrical power between propulsion motors and other electrical requirements such as combat system and auxiliary services. The Navy expects the new Dual Band Radar suite and the Integrated Undersea Warfare System to provide state-of-the-art battle space surveillance and advances in survivability and a total ship computing environment to allow a significant reduction in crew size. Introduction of additional new technology could reduce manning with each successive flight of the DD(X) spiral development.

The DD(X) program provided a baseline for spiral development of the DD(X) and the future cruiser or "CG(X)" with emphasis on common hullform and technology development. The Navy will use the advanced technology and networking capabilities from DD(X) and CG(X) in the development of the Littoral Combat Ship with the objective being a survivable, capable near-land platform to deal with threats of 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 US forces.



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