USS Zumwalt

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USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000)
USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) at night.jpg
USS Zumwalt after floating out of drydock in 2013.
United States
Name: Zumwalt
Namesake: Admiral Elmo Zumwalt
Awarded: 14 February 2008
Builder: Bath Iron Works
Cost: > $3.5 billion[1]
Laid down: 17 November 2011[2]
Launched: 28 October 2013
Christened: 12 April 2014
Commissioned: 2016 (planned)
Status: Completed; Undergoing sea trials
Badge: USS Zumwalt DDG-1000 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Zumwalt-class destroyer
Displacement: 14,564 tons[3]
Length: 600 ft (182.9 m)
Beam: 80.7 ft (24.6 m)
Draft: 27.6 ft (8.4 m)
Installed power: Integrated Power System (IPS)
Speed: 33.5 knots (62.0 km/h; 38.6 mph)
Complement: 142
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 for Admiral Elmo Zumwalt.[6][7] Zumwalt has stealth capabilities, having a radar cross-section akin to a fishing boat despite her large size.[8] On 7 December 2015, Zumwalt began its sea trial preparatory to joining the Pacific Fleet.[9] She is to be homeported in San Diego, California.[10]


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.[11] 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.[11] A highly decorated war veteran, Zumwalt reformed the U.S. Navy's personnel policies in an effort to improve enlisted life and ease racial tensions.[11] After he retired from a 32-year naval career, he launched an unsuccessful campaign for the United States Senate.[11]

The hull classification symbol for Zumwalt is DDG-1000, forgoing the guided missile destroyer sequence that goes up to DDG-119 (USS Delbert D. Black, currently the latest of the named Arleigh Burke-class destroyers), and continue in the previous "gun destroyer" sequence left off with the last of the Spruance class, USS Hayler. With the production run of the Zumwalt class limited to three units, plans are underway for a third "flight" of Arleigh-Burke-class destroyers.


Zumwalt's deckhouse in transit on 6 November 2012

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.[12]

The $1.4 billion contract was awarded to Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. [13] Full rate production officially began on 11 February 2009.[14]

As of July 2008, the construction timetable was for General Dynamics to deliver the ship in April 2013, with March 2015 as the target for Zumwalt to meet her initial operating capability.[15] However, by 2012, the planned completion and delivery of the vessel had slipped to the 2014 fiscal year.[16]

The first section of the ship was laid down on the slipway at Bath Iron Works on 17 November 2011.[16] By this point, fabrication of the ship was over 60% complete.[16] The naming ceremony was planned for 19 October 2013,[17] but was canceled due to the United States federal government shutdown of 2013.[18]

Despite rumors that the launch of Zumwalt would be delayed until early 2014, the vessel was launched from its shipyard in Bath, Maine on 29 October 2013.[19][20]

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

In January 2014, Zumwalt began to prepare for heavy weather trials. The trials will 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 reduce her radar cross-section. Tests will involve lateral and vertical accelerations and pitch and roll. Later tests will include fuel on-loading, data center tests, propulsion events, X-band radar evaluations, and mission systems activation to finalize integration of electronics, currently 90 percent complete out of 6 million lines of code. These all culminate in builders trials and acceptance trials, with delivery for U.S. Navy tests in late 2014 with initial operating capability (IOC) to be reached by 2016.[21]

Zumwalt's commanding officer is Captain James A. Kirk.[22] Kirk attracted some media attention when he was first named captain, due to the similarity of his name to that of the Star Trek television character Captain James T. Kirk, originated by William Shatner. Shatner wrote a letter of support to Zumwalt's crew in April 2014.[23]

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 in order to determine if the Zumwalt is ready to join the fleet as an actively commissioned warship.[9]

On 12 December 2015, during sea trials, Zumwalt responded to a U.S. 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 the Zumwalt crew transferred him to the destroyer using an 11-meter rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB), from which he was transported to shore by the Coast Guard helicopter and then to a hospital.[24]


  1. ^ "The Navy Just Christened Its Most Futuristic Ship Ever". Business Insider. 2014. 
  2. ^ Wertheim, Eric (January 2012). "Combat Fleets". Proceedings (Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute) 138 (1): 90. ISSN 0041-798X. Retrieved 13 January 2012. (subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ "DDG 1000 Flight I Design". Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. 2007. 
  4. ^ a b c Kasper, Joakim (20 September 2015). "About the Zumwalt Destroyer". AeroWeb. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  5. ^ GAO-05-752R Progress of the DD(X) Destroyer Program. U.S. Government Accountability Office. 14 June 2005. 
  6. ^ "Navy Designates Next-Generation Zumwalt Destroyer". US Department of Defense. 7 April 2006. 
  7. ^ "PCU Zumwalt, CAPT James Kirk, Commanding Officer". US Department of Defense. 30 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Patterson, Thom; Lendon, Brad (14 June 2014). "Navy's stealth destroyer designed for the video gamer generation". CNN. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Largest destroyer built for Navy heads out to sea". Fox News. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ a b c d Smith, J.Y. (3 January 2000). "Navy Reformer Elmo Zumwalt Dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  12. ^ NDAA 2007 - "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007". (109-452) US Government Printing Office. 5 May 2006: 69–70. 
  13. ^ "Navy Awards Contracts for Zumwalt Class Destroyers". Navy News Service. 14 February 2008. 
  14. ^ "BIW News February 2009" (PDF). General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. 1 March 2009. 
  15. ^ "Defense Acquisitions: Cost to Deliver Zumwalt-Class Destroyers Likely to Exceed Budget". Government Accountability Office. 31 July 2008.  GAO-08-804
  16. ^ a b c "Flash Traffic: Keel Laid for 1st DDG-1000 Destroyer". The Navy (Navy Leage of Australia) 74 (1): 15. January 2012. ISSN 1322-6231. 
  17. ^ Cavas, Christopher (3 October 2013). "New Ship News – Sub launched, Carrier prepped, LCS delivered". Defense News. 
  18. ^ "Navy Cancels, Postpones Zumwalt Christening". United States Navy. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "First Zumwalt Class Destroyer Launched". 29 October 2013. 
  20. ^ Geoffrey Ingersoll (29 October 2013). "The US Navy's Most Intimidating Creation Yet Just Hit The Water". Business Insider. 
  21. ^ DDG 1000 Preps for Heavy Weather Trials -, 14 January 2014
  22. ^ "PCU Zumwalt". US Navy. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  23. ^ Larter, Davide (16 April 2014). "Famous Capt. Kirk honors real one at ship christening". Navy Times. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  24. ^ Miller, Kevin (12 December 2015). "Navy's new Zumwalt rescues ailing fishing boat captain off Portland". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 13 December 2015. 

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