After first entering the water in October of last year, the Navy’s first DDG 1000 next-generation destroyer is gearing up for additional tests and heavy weather trials, service officials said at the Surface Navy Association’s 2014 Symposium in Crystal City, Va.
The ship will be formally delivered to the Navy for testing later this year and is slated to reach what’s called initial operating capability by 2016, according to Navy officials.
The DDG 1000, or USS Zumwalt, is the first of three Zumalt-class destroyers planned by the Navy. The second two Zumwalt-class destroyers planned for the fleet are the USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and the USS Lyndon B Jonhson (DDG 1002) slated to join the fleet in 2018 and 2021, respectively, Navy officials said.
“Our next event is fuel on-load and there are tests related to that. Then there is a data center light off toward the end of the spring to early summer. Then we start bringing up the entire propulsion system in full so there are all sorts of propulsion events there, leading up to builders trials and acceptance trials,” said Capt. Jim Downey, DDG 1000 program manager.
The heavy weather trials will involve placing instrumentation on the ship and testing how it reacts to high winds, stormy seas and adverse weather conditions, Downey explained.
“It’s a brand new hull form. We’re tracking the certification of the hull form because it is a new design. This will involve lateral and vertical accelerations and pitch and roll,” he said.
The DDG 1000 is engineered with a wave-piercing Tumblehome hull, a configuration designed to reduce the radar cross-section of the ship and strengthen the “stealth” profile, Navy officials said. Among other things, the Tumblehome hull is engineered so that its sides slope inward above the waterline.
“The shape of the superstructure and the arrangement of its antennas significantly reduce the ship's radar cross section, making the ship less visible to enemy radar at sea,” a Navy statement said.
Undersea warfare anti-submarine technology is also part of the DDG 1000s’ technical configuration. It is equipped with an AN/SQQ-90 Integrated Undersea Warfare suite designed to help provide undersea detection and targeting capability, Navy officials said.
The ship is also built with an Advanced Induction Motor, or AIM, a technology which uses an electric-drive propulsion system to move the ship through the water, officials said.
The DDG 1000, which weighs more than 14,500 tons and is 600-feet long, will also generate as 78 megawatts of power with its all-electric integrated power system. This electrical capacity is also designed to accommodate future technologies as they emerge such as electro-magnetic rail guns and lasers, Navy officials said.
Other technologies on the DDG 1000 include and Advanced Gun System which can fire rocket-powered precision projectiles as far as 63-nautical miles, Navy officials indicated.
The Advanced Gun System has performed very well in testing, consistently reaching a Circular Error Probable of 20-meters or less from distances up to 60-nautical miles, Downey said.
“We’re getting ready to buy hundreds of rounds,” he added.
The DDG 1000 warship is primarily designed for land attack and littoral or shallow-water coastal missions, among other things, he said.
Other upcoming efforts will include mission systems activation, a move which will integrate and finalize the electronics on the ship. Overall, the software for DDG 1000 is 90-percent complete, involving about 6-million lines of code, Downey said.
Testing will also examine the rotating X-band radar for the ship engineered to identify potential threats. The X-band radar has replaced a prior S-band radar on the ship, Downey explained.