The US Navy have taken delivery of the USS Zumwalt.

In December 2015, Zumwalt began her sea trials before joining the Pacific Fleet. The ship was commissioned in October 2016.

Following this delivery, the ship will transition from Combat Systems Activation to the next phase of developmental and integrated at-sea testing. This event marks a major milestone of the dual delivery approach for USS Zumwalt, which achieved Hull Mechanical & Electrical delivery from shipbuilder General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works in May 2016.

“Delivery is an important milestone for the Navy, as DDG 1000 continues more advanced at-sea testing of the Zumwalt combat system,” said Capt. Kevin Smith, DDG 1000 program manager, Program Executive Office, Ships.

“The combat test team, consisting of the DDG 1000 sailors, Raytheon engineers, and Navy field activity teams, have worked diligently to get USS Zumwalt ready for more complex, multi-mission at-sea testing. I am excited to begin demonstrating the performance of this incredible ship.”

According to a US Navy release:

“With delivery, USS Zumwalt joins the U.S. Pacific Fleet battle force and remains assigned to Surface Development Squadron One. In addition to at-sea testing of the Zumwalt combat system, DDG 1000 will also operate as a key enabler in the acceleration of new warfighting capabilities and rapid development and validation of operational tactics, techniques, and procedures.

The 610 foot, wave-piercing tumblehome ship design provides a wide array of advancements. Employing an innovative and highly survivable Integrated Power System (IPS), DDG 1000 has the capacity to distribute 1000 volts of direct current across the ships’ entirety, allowing for enhanced power capability for various operational requirements. Additionally, the shape of the superstructure and the arrangement of its antennas significantly reduce radar cross section, making the ship less visible to enemy radars.”

The USS Zumwalt is the first ship of the Zumwalt-class destroyers. The USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) is homeported in San Diego and is undergoing combat systems activation. The third and final ship of the class, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), is under construction at BIW’s shipyard in Bath, Maine.

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For the crew this ship must be the equivalent of traveling on a submarine, considering just how few windows there are?


Modern warships generally have very few portholes, so doubt it makes that much difference


its a shame its guns are absolutely useless cause the ammo was too expensive…. they really need to hurry up and put railguns on them! 😛


Yeah talk about a white elephant. They are 155mm aren’t they. I wonder if they can be converted for the M982 Excalibur rounds. They still have a decent range and punch. The navy probably doesn’t want to sink anymore money into them. I’m assuming most of the cost was just R and D if they where to make more without the guns and additional VLS they are bound to get them for less than 1bn each


the ammo became too expensive because they cut the programme from 32 ships (with 2 AGS each) to 3. The cost of the round went from a projected $35,000 to $800,000 (R&D, tooling costs etc. stayed the same but no economy of scale for production). They gave up on research as to whether Excalibur could be adapted for use by AGS.


I think overall there does need to be some kind of economic alternative to TLAM, these missiles are not getting any cheaper and launching a missile that costs millions of dollars and targets that cost a fraction of that are not viable. They are great for taking out run ways and strategic buildings in a day one conflict, for which you need several hundred and I doubt we have 10 available for launch at any one time. But difficult to replenish at sea and became less useful if an enemy is very mobile or not worth sending a million pound… Read more »


Very much the same problem the Royal Navy has, lack of scale pushing up costs on everything to unaffordable levels.

From what i read the rail-gun project isn’t going so well, so doubt this is the solution.


Didn’t know that about the rail guns though had guessed it considering they had in a flourish promoted their early demonstrations with videos and news years ago and virtually nothing since. Have similar worries about our laser prototype Dragonfire tbh, its gone all quiet there too when it was scheduled to test late last year from what I remember. Anyone heard about anything on that front?


According to Popular Mechanic the railgun is being held for next generation hulls of the USN. Meanwhile hypersonic volocity projectile rounds derived from the railgun R&D are being developed for firing from the standard 127mm Mk45 gun. These projectiles are eventual to be also developed for the 155mm guns on the Zumwalt destroyers


The plan now is to refit them at a later point in to Armoury Ships by replacing the guns with VLS, taking over the role of missile strike from submarines in a more expendable hull (places where it might be a bit hot for a submarine to operate such as the South China Sea). Though conversely they themselves lack any submarine defence.

Geoffrey Simon Hicking

Surely anything a submarine cannot operate in would be even worse for a surface ship? “Submarines and targets” and all that.

Nick C

Not necessarily. Much of the South China Sea is quite shallow, so not optimum for a nuclear boat, and there is also a lot of surface traffic, offshore oil and other noise sources which will make it difficult for a boat on its own.

Daniele Mandelli

What became of the railguns MoD were testing up at Eskmeals? Same weapon?


Performance met expectations but would go through barrels like candy, that and the specialised power generation equipment required meant the US Navy balked at the cost and logistics of actually deploying the weapon.

Daniele Mandelli

Right. So the UK was involved.


Research team was started by the MoD in the late 80’s, passed on to QinetiQ when it was privatised with them doing research in the mid 2000’s on tank size proof of concept models then BaE was developing it through the 2010’s to meet the US Navy requirement. BaE had three sites working on the project, a lab in the UK, a lab in Austin and the test site.

peter french

It just reminds me of the Confederate ship was it the Monitor that barely had any freeboard. Not the the Zumwalt is similiar but just that it appears just as outlandish


Just so – looks like a later day version of the USS Katahdin or HMS Polyphemus……


The inspiration was from Vosper Thornycroft’s Sea Wraith and the bigger Sea Wraith two, but Sea Wraith’s hull design got around the tumblehome to some extent.


Monitor wad Union ship. Merrimack was a conventional confederate ironclad. The Confederates did have a submarine, built by Ericcson(?). Crew all drowned.


Brutal looking ship I love it. Reminds me of something out of Star wars


Although I reckon a torpedo going off even near it would capsize it


I’d really like to see it at sea in a gale What is its point of no return? Unlike a conventional hull it must get increasingly unstable as it rolls more. Is it shaped to allow the cannon balls to ricochet off more easily? Does it have extra lead ballast to keep it upright. What a joke, embarrassment or what?

Paul T

A Stormy Sea will be a challenge for it,hopefully all the Hydrodynamic Test Data will prove the concept.


Thick military administrators and laughable strategists signed off a dumb idea to ravenous scientists shareholders and accountants with share options.
Easy money, they must be laughing their socks off at the dimwitedness of the fools who sign the cheques.


All photos I’ve ever seen show it on a flat calm sea. Exercising in Winter North Atlantic will be one to watch believe me.


The US military, and their co conspirators in the industrial side of their complex, waste eye watering sums of money. We could run our own whole defence budget twice over with what they waste.

An “integrated power system” (IPS) … that will be its “engines” …?

And it’s building 3 of them…. none of which work or do anything. So it’s radar cross section is meaningless.


They should just get rid of the gun mounts and install TLAMs and ASMs vertical launchers. Would give the ship a huge punch.


The Zumwalts have been remissioned as surface strike platforms. I believe from this article that they will be the first surface ships to host the new hypersonic missile now testing with the USN and USAF.


Geoffrey Simon Hicking

If the modern battleship (i.e.: the Iowas) is meant to sit on the gun line and bombard the shore, why not keep the lineage going and call them battleships? Its clearly not a torpedo-boat “destroyer”, so the terminology seems a bit odd.