DDG-1000 Program - 2008
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.
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 repeatedly testified provided much-needed capabilities.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|