Navy’s USS Zumwalt Destroyer Completes First Live Fire Test

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  • 01:08 PM, May 21, 2020
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Navy’s USS Zumwalt Destroyer Completes First Live Fire Test
USS Zumwalt destroyer conducted live-fire test of the Mark 46 MOD 2 Gun Weapon System on May 16.

US Navy sailors aboard USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) guided-missile destroyer have successfully concluded a structural test fire of the Mark 46 MOD 2 Gun Weapon System (GWS).

The work was executed by the sailors with engineers and technicians from Navy Surface Warfare Centers on the Naval Air Weapons Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) Sea Test Range in Point Mugu on May 16, the US Navy said in a release Wednesday.

On April 24, the Navy accepted delivery of the stealthy $4 billion ship, three years after it was commissioned.

“The privilege of being a ‘first-in-class’ ship includes having the opportunity to systematically conduct testing across the breadth of systems installed onboard the ship,” said Capt. Andrew Carlson, Zumwalt’s commanding officer. “The real plus is conducting those tests, such as today’s live fire with the Mark 46 GWS, which provide tangible evidence of combat capability maturation.”

Navy’s USS Zumwalt Destroyer Completes First Live Fire Test

The Mark 46 GWS is a remotely operated naval gun system that uses 30mm high velocity cannon, a forward looking infrared sensor, a low light television camera, and a laser rangefinder for shipboard self-defense against small, high speed surface targets. It is a program of record already successfully installed and operated on LPD-17 and LCS class ships. The test firing on board Zumwalt was the first large caliber weapons firing event for the Zumwalt Class Destroyer Program and occurred only three weeks after the Navy officially accepted delivery of the Combat System.

Structural test fires assess structural and electrical components of the ship against shock and vibration of the weapon firing, as well as measuring any potential hazards to personnel or degradations to adjacent equipment as a result of firing live ordnance. The tests are a coordinated effort between the Zumwalt Class Destroyer Program Office, the U.S. 3rd Fleet, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Surface Warfare Centers located in Dahlgren, Virginia, Port Hueneme, California, and Indian Head, Maryland.

Navy’s USS Zumwalt Destroyer Completes First Live Fire Test

USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000)

The USS Zumwalt is the first ship of the Zumwalt-class destroyers. It is 100 feet longer and 13 feet wider than the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer at 610 feet long, providing the space required to execute a wider array of surface, undersea, and aviation missions, the Navy claims.

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.

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