No, the strange-looking blockhouse structure is not yet a ship — but wait a few years, it’ll be back with a proper hull under it.
The appearance of the future USS ZUMWALT (DDG 1000) will be unlike any other ship in service, and the 600-foot-long destroyer is starting to come together at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine.
The biggest component of the ship built elsewhere is the composite structure deckhouse, fabricated in Gulfport, Miss., by Huntington Ingalls and delivered to the U.S. Navy on Oct. 9. The 900-ton structure was loaded on a barge for transport to Maine.
The trip was interrupted this week as a nor’easter started brewing off the mid-Atlantic coast, and the tow put in to Norfolk, Va., Monday, Nov. 5 to wait out the storm. These Navy photos were taken the morning of Nov. 6, at the Norfolk Naval Base, where the ship is expected to stay for five to seven days, until the weather clears.
The photos provide an unprecedented look at the DDG 1000’s unique superstructure, loaded with embedded radars and other sensors. In keeping with the ship’s stealth-oriented design, the engine uptakes are completely inside the structure and vent out the top, and no masts will be fitted.
After the superstructure is installed, the ZUMWALT is expected to be launched next summer and delivered in fiscal 2014.
Two more ship of the class are under construction at Bath, the MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001) and LYNDON B. JOHNSON (DDG 1002).
Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary S. Welch, U.S. Navy.
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