After years of delays, the US Navy has finally taken delivery of its next-generation guided-missile stealth destroyer on Friday (April 24) for the next phase of developmental and integrated at-sea testing, reports Naval Today.
For the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000), a 16,000-ton stealth destroyer, the construction timetable in July 2008 was:
October 2008: DDG-1000 starts construction at Bath Iron Works
September 2009: DDG-1001 starts construction at Bath Iron Works.
April 2012: DDG-1002 starts construction at Bath Iron Works
April 2013: DDG-1000 initial delivery
And so, just seven years later... here it is...
The stealth destroyer has operational combat systems and will conduct sea trials, according to a statement from Naval Sea Systems Command. The ship was built at Bath Iron Works in Maine and commissioned in 2016. It transited through the Panama Canal shortly after, on its way to San Diego, when it experienced propulsion issues, had to be towed back to port.
To bring the vessel back to combat-ready, the Navy has had to pour an additional $4 billion into upgrades. We noted in March 2019, DDG 1000 departed San Diego on the first operational cruise.
"Delivery is an important milestone for the Navy, as DDG 1000 continues more advanced at-sea testing of the Zumwalt combat system," said Capt. Kevin Smith, DDG 1000 program manager, Program Executive Office, Ships.
"The combat test team, consisting of the DDG 1000 sailors, Raytheon engineers, and Navy field activity teams, have worked diligently to get USS Zumwalt ready for more complex, multi-mission at-sea testing. I am excited to begin demonstrating the performance of this incredible ship."
By late 2019, there was talk within the ranks of the Navy that DDG 1000 could be fitted with hypersonic missiles.
DDG 1000 is the first of the Zumwalt-class destroyers. The USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) is currently being outfitted with combat systems. The SS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) is under construction at Bath Iron Works.
DDG 1000 is expected to join the US Pacific fleet, where it could be soon sent to the South China Sea in a show of force against the Chinese.