The US Navy accepted the delivery of $4 billion USS Zumwalt destroyer on Friday, three years after the service commissioned the stealthy warship.
“The Navy accepted delivery of USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), the lead ship of the Navy's next-generation of multi-mission surface combatants, on April 24. With delivery, USS Zumwalt joins the US Pacific Fleet battle force and remains assigned to Surface Development Squadron One,” Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said in a statement.
The guided-missile destroyer was inducted in October 2016, but a law passed by Congress shortly afterwards prohibited the Navy from accepting delivery of a ship that wasn’t fully outfitted with its combat capability.
With a working combat system, the 16,000-ton ship will now move into a new phase of developmental and integrated at-sea testing.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) last year noted that the ship lacks a suitable projectile for the two onboard Advanced Gun Systems. The navy initially planned to procure Long-Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP), but it came with an expensive price tag of $80,000 to $1 million per round.
The GAO report said that the Navy and General Dynamics-owned Bath Iron Works (BIW) failed to freeze the Zumwalt-class’ design before the construction of the first ship began, resulting in “numerous design changes, significant cost increases and schedule delays.”
Around 320 serious deficiencies were found during an evaluation by the Board of Inspection and Survey, the US Navy’s main organization inspecting and reporting on a warship’s readiness for active duty operations.
In addition, the Navy changed the destroyers' primary mission from land attack to offensive surface strike in 2018. Modifications needed to make that switch cost about $1 billion, the GAO noted.
“This event marks a major milestone of the dual delivery approach for USS Zumwalt, which achieved Hull Mechanical & Electrical delivery from shipbuilder General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works in May 2016. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems was the prime contractor for the Zumwalt Combat System, and has lead activation and integration for Zumwalt class ships both in Bath, Maine and San Diego,” the NAVSEA statement read.
"After sailing over 9000 miles and 100 days at sea in 2019, we are absolutely looking forward to more aggressive at-sea testing and validation of the combat systems leading to achievement of initial operational capability,” remarked Capt. Andrew Carlson, the Commanding Officer of USS Zumwalt.
USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000)
The USS Zumwalt is the first ship of the Zumwalt-class destroyers. The USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) is homeported in San Diego and is undergoing combat systems activation. The third and final ship of the class, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), is under construction at BIW's shipyard in Bath, Maine.
The 610 foot, wave-piercing tumblehome ship design provides a wide array of advancements. Employing an innovative and highly survivable Integrated Power System (IPS), DDG 1000 has the capacity to distribute 1000 volts of direct current across the ships' entirety, allowing for enhanced power capability for various operational requirements. Additionally, the shape of the superstructure and the arrangement of its antennas significantly reduce radar cross section, making the ship less visible to enemy radars.