By Capt. Jim Downey
DDG 1000 Program Manager
The Navy’s DDG 1000 Zumwalt class destroyer program continues to make significant progress, achieving key shipbuilding milestones, and moving steadily to provide the next generation surface combatant to the Fleet.
The Zumwalt class destroyer program is currently under construction at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Bath, Maine. The future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), named for former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt, launched Oct. 28, 2013 and was Christened April 12, 2014. The future Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), named for Medal of Honor recipient Petty Officer Michael Monsoor, had its keel laid May 23, 2013, and the future Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), named for the former U.S. president, started fabrication April 4, 2012.
The first of class ship, DDG 1000 (PCU Zumwalt) is 92 percent complete and currently in test and activation phase of construction. The ship is successfully activating its fuel systems, advanced induction motors (AIM) and generators, with fuel onload and AIM light-off completed in July, and generator light-off achieved Sept. 23, 2014.
Completion of generator light-off represents the latest electrical system milestone in an effort that began years ago with early prototype testing at the Land Based Test Site in Philadelphia, PA, aimed at risk reduction, crew familiarization, and eventual shipboard activation. Lessons learned from this effort helped lead to recent successful activation events onboard DDG 1000 including energizing the high voltage power system, lighting off of the port AIM utilizing shore power to demonstrate operation of the propulsion motor system, and continual and incremental testing of the engineering control system responsible for the automated control of the engineering plant. Most recently, successful testing of the fuel oil service and transfer system allowed for the onload of fuel to be utilized in the light-off of the first gas turbine generator which will be used to generate the power necessary for dockside and sea trials.
Concurrent with light-off activities, activation of DDG 1000’s computer system, Total Ship Computing Environment (TSCE) completed Oct. 9, 2014. Consisting of hardware, middleware and software operating systems, the TSCE is responsible for the operation and integration of the combat systems, engineering control systems, bridge and navigation systems, and damage control systems utilizing layered open architecture which allows for network flexibility and growth for future capabilities. With over six million lines of code, the TSCE , has been designed to maximize automation and watchstander efficiency in order to optimize crew size. To enable the TSCE activation, the DDG 1000 team has been hard at work to energize and groom data centers, certify software releases, and incorporate required support services, like chilled water and air-conditioning systems in order to support a successful and sustained activation. The DDG 1000 TSCE is the most advanced and complex shipboard computer operating system the Navy has produced, representing the cutting edge in future surface combatant capability.
In addition to key milestones on the lead ship, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) delivered the DDG 1001 composite deckhouse to the Navy. The 900-plus ton deckhouse was transported from Gulfport, Miss. via barge to the BIW shipyard in Bath, Maine, and arrived Sept.5, 2014 for subsequent lift and integration on the DDG 1001 hull at the shipbuilder’s land level test facility.
Through the combined efforts of the Navy’s DDG 1000 Program Office, Supervisor of Shipbuilding Bath, BIW, HII, BAE, Raytheon, and various subcontractor teams, the DDG 1000 program has made impressive strides in managing the development, construction, and delivery of this highly complex shipbuilding program.
These highly advanced surface combatants represent a significant leap forward in naval surface warfare capability through the use of advanced technologies. These advanced technologies include the all-electric Integrated Power System (IPS) which will provide 78 megawatts of shipboard power as well as a next generation Peripheral Vertical Launch System (PVLS) capable of employing Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM), Standard Missiles (SMs), Vertical Launched ASROC (VLA), Tomahawk, and future missiles. Additionally, the ships boast an Advanced Gun System with a Long Range Land Attack Projectile capable of launching a guided projectile at extended ranges. With impressive technologies, significant signature reductions over all previous surface combatants; and with automated engineering, machinery, and combat systems providing a significant reduction in manning levels, Zumwalt class destroyers will provide the fleet with the capabilities required for today’s naval operations and to be resources to face the threats of tomorrow.
The DDG 1000 Zumwalt class destroyers will be a multi-mission surface combatant designed to fulfill volume firepower and precision strike requirements. This advanced warship will enable access in the open ocean, littoral and ashore and provide impressive forward naval presence while operating independently or as an integral part of Naval, Joint, or Combined Expeditionary Strike Forces. Armed with an array of advanced weapons, the DDG 1000 program brings sophisticated new technologies that will deliver evolutionary capability and help shape the future of surface warfare.