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USS Zumwalt

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USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000)
USS Zumwalt on 21 April 2016
United States
NamesakeElmo Zumwalt
Awarded14 February 2008
BuilderBath Iron Works
Cost≈$3.5 billion[4] to 4.4 billion[5]
Laid down17 November 2011[2]
Launched28 October 2013
Christened12 April 2014
Commissioned15 October 2016[1]
HomeportPascagoula, Mississippi
MottoPax Propter Vim (Peace Through Power)[3]
Statusin active service
General characteristics
Class and typeZumwalt-class destroyer, Guided missile destroyer
Displacement14,564 long tons (14,798 t)[6]
Length600 ft (182.9 m)
Beam80.7 ft (24.6 m)
Draft27.6 ft (8.4 m)
Installed power
  • Integrated Power System (IPS)[7]
  • 2 × propellers driven by GE Power Conversion Advanced Induction Motors with VDM25000 Drive
  • Total: 78 MW (105,000 shp)[7]
Speed33.5 knots (62.0 km/h; 38.6 mph)
Sensors and
processing systems
  • AN/SPY-3 Multi-Function Radar (MFR) (X-band, scanned array)
  • Volume Search Radar (VSR) (S-band, scanned array)
Aircraft carried

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is a guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy. She is the lead ship of the Zumwalt class and the first ship to be named after Admiral Elmo Zumwalt.[10][11] Zumwalt has stealth capabilities, having a radar cross-section similar to a fishing boat despite her large size.[12] On 7 December 2015, Zumwalt began her sea trial preparatory to joining the Pacific Fleet.[13] The ship was commissioned in Baltimore on 15 October 2016.[1] Her home port is San Diego, California.[14]


Admiral Elmo Zumwalt

Zumwalt is named after Elmo Russell Zumwalt Jr., who was an American naval officer and the youngest man to serve as the Chief of Naval Operations.[15] As an admiral and later the 19th Chief of Naval Operations, Zumwalt played a major role in U.S. military history, especially during the Vietnam War.[15] A highly decorated war veteran, Zumwalt reformed the US Navy's personnel policies in an effort to improve enlisted life and ease racial tensions.[15] After he retired from a 32-year naval career, he launched an unsuccessful campaign for the United States Senate.[15]

The hull classification symbol for Zumwalt is DDG-1000, which departs from the guided missile destroyer numbering sequence that goes up to DDG-139, which as of 2022, is Telesforo Trinidad, the latest of the named Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. Zumwalt continues the previous "gun destroyer" sequence left off with 1983, DD-997, the last of the Spruance class, Hayler.


The Zumwalt class was designed with multimission capability. Unlike previous destroyer classes, designed primarily for deep-water combat, the Zumwalt class was primarily designed to support ground forces in land attacks, in addition to the usual destroyer missions of anti-air, anti-surface, and antisubmarine warfare.

Zumwalt was initially equipped with two Advanced Gun Systems (AGS), which were designed to fire the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP). LRLAP was to be one of a range of land attack and ballistic projectiles for the AGS, but was the only munition the AGS could use. LRLAP had a range of up to 100 nautical miles (190 km; 120 mi) fired from the AGS. It was to be a key component for ground forces support,[16][unreliable source?] but LRLAP procurement was cancelled in 2016[17][18] and the Navy has no plan to replace it.[8] Since Zumwalt class cannot provide naval gunfire support the Navy has re-purposed the class to surface warfare.[19] During a refit starting in 2023, the AGS systems are being replaced by missiles.[20]



Many of the ship's features were originally developed under the DD21 program ("21st Century Destroyer"). In 2001, Congress cut the DD-21 program by half as part of the SC21 program. To save it, the acquisition program was renamed as DD(X) and heavily reworked. The initial funding allocation for DDG-1000 was included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2007.[21] By February 2008, a $1.4 billion contract had been awarded to Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine,[22] and full rate production officially began a year later, on 11 February 2009.[23]

Zumwalt's deckhouse in transit on 6 November 2012

In July 2008, a construction timetable was set for General Dynamics to deliver the ship in April 2013, with a March 2015 target date for Zumwalt to meet her initial operating capability[24] but, by 2012 the planned completion and delivery of the vessel was delayed to the 2014 fiscal year.[25] The first section of the ship was laid down on the slipway at Bath Iron Works on 17 November 2011,[25] by which point, fabrication of the ship was over 60% complete.[25] The naming ceremony was planned for 19 October 2013,[26] but was canceled due to the United States federal government shutdown of 2013.[27] The vessel was launched on 29 October 2013.[28][29]

Sea trials[edit]

In January 2014, Zumwalt began to prepare for heavy weather trials, to see how the ship and her instrumentation react to high winds, stormy seas, and adverse weather conditions. The ship's new wave-piercing inverted bow and tumblehome hull configuration reduced her radar cross-section. Tests involved lateral and vertical accelerations and pitch and roll. Later tests included fuel on-loading, data center tests, propulsion events, X-band radar evaluations, and mission systems activation to finalize integration of electronics. These all culminated in builders' trials and acceptance trials, with delivery for US Navy tests in late 2014, and with initial operating capability (IOC) to be reached by 2016.[30]

USS Zumwalt underway for the first time conducting at-sea tests and trials in the Atlantic Ocean, 7 December 2015.

Zumwalt's first commanding officer was Captain James A. Kirk.[31] Kirk attracted some media attention when he was first named the captain, due to the similarity of his name to that of the Star Trek television character Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner. Shatner wrote a letter of support to Zumwalt's crew in April 2014.[32] On 7 December 2015, the ship departed Bath Iron Works for sea trials to allow the Navy and contractors to operate the vessel under rigorous conditions to determine whether Zumwalt was ready to join the fleet as an actively commissioned warship.[13]

On 12 December 2015, during sea trials, Zumwalt responded to a US Coast Guard call for assistance for a fishing boat captain who was experiencing a medical emergency 40 nautical miles (74 km) from Portland, Maine. Due to deck conditions, the Coast Guard helicopter was unable to hoist the patient from the fishing boat, so Zumwalt's crew used their 11-meter rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) to transfer him to the destroyer, from which he was transported to shore by the Coast Guard helicopter and then to a hospital.[33] The US Navy accepted initial delivery of Zumwalt on 20 May 2016.[34] In September 2016, it was reported that the vessel needed repairs after the detection of a seawater leak in the ship's auxiliary motor drive oil system.[35] The US Navy commissioned Zumwalt on 15 October 2016, in Baltimore during Fleet Week.[1]


On 21 November 2016, Zumwalt lost propulsion in her port shaft while passing through the Panama Canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean en route to her homeport in San Diego.[36] Water had intruded in two of the four bearings that connect Zumwalt's port and starboard Advanced Induction Motors to the drive shafts.[36] Both drive shafts failed and Zumwalt struck the lock walls in the canal, causing minor cosmetic damage.[36] Zumwalt's passage through the Panama Canal had to be completed with tugboats.[36] Zumwalt underwent repairs at Vasco Núñez de Balboa Naval Base near the Pacific end of the canal before continuing on to Naval Station San Diego.[36][37] Upon the ship's arrival in San Diego, the leak was revealed to be through the lubrication cooling system, though the cause remains unknown. Sources close to the incident described the completion of the canal transit with tugboats a prudent measure, and lauded Captain Kirk for quick thinking and integrity to acknowledge the cooling system failure rather than risk damage to the propulsion system by steering the ship to the dock without assistance.[38]


In April 2019, Zumwalt departed San Diego for a first operational deployment into the Pacific since the shipyard availability conducted in 2017 and 2018.[39] This patrol included a visit to Ketchikan, Alaska,[40] during which Zumwalt's watch teams were able to conduct stability trials in stormy seas (Sea State 6),[41] and Pearl Harbor, marking the first visit of a Zumwalt Class Destroyer to Hawaii.[42] The Navy accepted final delivery in April 2020, preparing for more sea tests.[43]

In September 2022 Zumwalt made her first port call in Guam during the longest voyage since the ship was commissioned enroute to Japan.[44]

On August 1, 2023, Zumwalt got underway to her new homeport in Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi for a modernization period and to receive technology upgrades. [20]


  1. ^ a b c Bubala, Mary (16 October 2016). "Historic And Cutting Edge USS Zumwalt Commissioned In Baltimore". WJZ-TV. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  2. ^ Wertheim, Eric (January 2012). "Combat Fleets". Proceedings. 138 (1). Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute: 90. ISSN 0041-798X. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  3. ^ Harris, Adm. Harry (15 October 2016). "USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) Commissioning Ceremony". US Pacific Command. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  4. ^ "The Navy Just Christened Its Most Futuristic Ship Ever". Business Insider. 2014.
  5. ^ The Navy's New $4.4 Billion Ship Is A Big, Shiny Waste Of Money
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  11. ^ "USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000)". US Department of Defense. 30 October 2013. Archived from the original on 18 January 2021. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
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  14. ^ Barber, Elizabeth (30 October 2013). "Navy new destroyer: USS Zumwalt is bigger, badder than any other destroyer". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  15. ^ a b c d Smith, J. Y. (3 January 2000). "Navy Reformer Elmo Zumwalt Dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
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  17. ^ New Warship's Big Guns Have No Bullets - Defensenews.com, 6 November 2016
  18. ^ Navy Planning on Not Buying More LRLAP Rounds for Zumwalt Class - News.USNI.org, 7 November 2016
  19. ^ Eckstein, Megan (4 December 2017). "New Requirements for DDG-1000 Focus on Surface Strike". USNI News. U.S. Naval Institute. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  20. ^ a b https://news.usni.org/2023/07/31/uss-zumwalt-under-repair-before-mississippi-homeport-shift-hypersonic-missile-upgrade
  21. ^ NDAA 2007 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Report). (109-452) US Government Printing Office. 5 May 2006. pp. 69–70.
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  23. ^ "BIW News February 2009" (PDF). General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. 1 March 2009.[permanent dead link]
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  29. ^ Geoffrey Ingersoll (29 October 2013). "The US Navy's Most Intimidating Creation Yet Just Hit The Water". Business Insider.
  30. ^ DDG 1000 Preps for Heavy Weather Trials - DoDBuzz.com, 14 January 2014
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  34. ^ Atherton, Kelsey D. (20 May 2016). "Zumwalt Destroyer Delivered To The Navy". Popular Science. Harlan, IA. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  35. ^ Avery Thompson (22 September 2016). "The Navy's Stealthy, High-Tech USS Zumwalt Just Broke Down". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  36. ^ a b c d e LaGrone, Sam (22 November 2016). "Updated: USS Zumwalt Sidelined in Panama Following New Engineering Casualty". USNI News. U.S. Naval Institute. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
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  38. ^ Gallagher, Sean (13 December 2016). "Zumwalt's propulsion problems were caused by seawater seepage in chillers". Ars Technica. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  39. ^ Public Affairs, U.S. 3rd Fleet (8 March 2019). "First Operational Underway". Navy. Retrieved 25 April 2019.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  40. ^ Byers, MC2 Natalie (25 March 2019). "USS Zumwalt Arrives in Ketchikan". Navy. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 25 April 2019.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
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  42. ^ Cone, Allen (4 April 2019). "USS Zumwalt destroyer visits Pearl Harbor". UPI. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
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  44. ^ "USS Zumwalt conducts Guam port call". Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. 19 September 2022. Retrieved 22 September 2022.

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