Zumwalt Class Comes Together

Another PEO Ships program benefitting from a mature design is the Zumwalt-class destroyer program.

More mature at the start of fabrication than any lead surface combatant to date, the future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) is the first of a three-ship class of multi-mission, land-attack destroyers.

Being built predominately by BIW in Bath, Maine, with major ship components - deckhouse, hangar and aft peripheral vertical launch system - built at HII, and systems at Raytheon and BAE, PEO Ships laid the keel for the ship Nov. 17, 2011, recognizing the beginning of ship construction.

While keel laying was once traditionally the formal recognition of the start of the ship's construction, today's advanced modular shipbuilding allows fabrication of the ship to begin months before. However, the keel laying continues to symbolically recognize the joining of the ship's components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.

“Keel laying is just the first of many important milestones and events in bringing Zumwalt to life,” said Capt. Jim Downey, DDG 1000 program manager. “With the outstanding team we have assembled, I look forward to building on the superb progress we've achieved to date and delivering this extremely capable warship to the Fleet.”

Zumwalt, as well as the other two ships of the class, are designed around a battery of two Advanced Gun Systems, firing Long-Range Land Attack Projectiles that reach up to 63 nautical miles, providing a three-fold improvement in naval surface fires coverage.

Employing a unique tumblehome hull, the class will have a significantly reduced radar cross-section as compared to current and planned ships, and a much greater operating area in shallow water regions against mines. The ship features increased stealth through a composite superstructure, integrated multi-function mast, and reduced acoustic signature.

Designed for sustained operations in the littorals and land attack, the multi-mission DDG 1000 will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces, and operate as an integral part of joint and combined expeditionary forces.

Construction began on DDG 1000 in February 2009, and the Navy and its industry partners have worked to mature the ship’s design and ready their industrial facilities to build this advanced surface combatant. Zumwalt is currently more than 60 percent complete and scheduled to deliver in fiscal year 2014. The second ship of the class, the future USS Michael Monsoor, is also under construction at BIW, and later this year the Navy and BIW will begin construction on the third ship – DDG 1002.