Mighty ZUMWALT Is Coming Together

One of the most striking warships ever built is coming together in the little coastal town of Bath, Maine. The major components of the 610-foot-long ZUMWALT (DDG 1000) — a “destroyer” in name only — have been assembled this winter at the General Dynamics shipyard of Bath Iron Works, and the ship’s stark, tumblehome hull and superstructure is now together. These views were taken on Jan. 15, 2013, shortly after the deckhouse — built at Huntington Ingalls in Gulfport, Miss. — was lowered onto the hull.

The ZUMWALT will displace more than 15,600 tons full load, bigger than most World War II heavy cruisers. Eighty feet wide with a draft of more than 27 feet, the ship’s turbine generators will produce 78 megawatts of power, one of the largest electrical loads ever put to sea. The ship’s integrated power system will allow much of that power to be directed as needed, perhaps to future laser or directed energy weapons.  

Construction of the ZUMWALT officially began in February 2009, and the ship is to be launched into the Kennebec River this summer. Delivery is to take place later in 2014, but it will likely be another two or three years before the ship and its host of new-technology systems is ready for service.

Two more ships of the class, the MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001) and LYNDON B. JOHNSON (DDG 1002), also are under construction at Bath. No more ships of this class are currently planned.

For more on these ships, see the Naval Sea Systems Command DDG 1000 website.

Two 155mm Advanced Gun System (AGS) weapons are installed on the ZUMWALT's foredeck. One is under the green shed, the other directly in front of it. The guns are flanked by a peripheral vertical launch missile system. The ship's radars and other sensors are embedded into the superstructure. (All photos courtesy General Dynamics Bath Iron Works)

Steel portions of the ship are painted in red primer. The light grey deckhouse and aircraft hangar aft of it are made of composite materials. The ship's stern has yet to be attached to the hull, and is visible in the shipyard at far left.

This angle affords a better view of the composite hangar and deckhouse. Later this year, the ZUMWALT will be rolled off Bath's Land Level Transfer Facility into the floating drydock at right. When ready for launch, the drydock will then be moved by tugs out into the Kennebec River and sunk into a hole in the river bottom, and the ZUMWALT will float off, to be returned pierside for fitting out.

 

Christopher P. Cavas
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Christopher P. Cavas

If it's on, over, under or around the water, I write about it. Ships and aircraft, units, tactics, leadership, strategies, acquisition, politics, industry. In the USA and around the world.
Christopher P. Cavas
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