USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) was commissioned into the U.S. Navy Saturday at North Locust Point in Baltimore, Maryland, according to a U.S. Navy news release.
Zumwalt is the lead ship of a small class of stealthy, high-technology destroyers. The ship features a next-generation electric propulsion system, reduced manning with extensive automation, wave-piercing tumblehome hull, stealth features, a new vertical launch system for its missiles, and new gun systems, among other features.
“This ship is an example of a larger initiative to increase operational stability and give the U.S. a strategic advantage,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus during the commissioning ceremony. “Our Navy and our Marine Corps, uniquely, provide presence – around the globe, around the clock – ensuring stability, reassuring allies, deterring adversaries, and providing the nation’s leaders with options in times of crisis.”
The heir to the “Arsenal Ship” land attack destroyer concept, Zumwalt was originally conceived to be the first of a class of 32 destroyers in the DD-21 program. However, disputes over roles and missions in a changing security environment, the radical design, and, especially, rising costs have limited the program to a class of three ships. DDG 1001 has been named for Medal of Honor recipient Master at Arms 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, and DDG 1002 for President Lyndon B. Johnson. Their high electrical generating capacities mean the truncated class are now being seen as potential testbeds for new technologies, such as radars, railguns, and lasers, among other things. The peripheral launch cells for the ship’s Standard missiles are located forward, along with the Advanced Gun System turrets, which also leaves the stern available for aviation operations.
“This destroyer, like the others in our fleet, is capable of projecting power, no doubt,” said Mabus. “The Zumwalt-class is much larger than today’s destroyers with a considerably larger flight deck – enough space to operate host Joint Strike Fighters, MV-22 Ospreys, and unmanned systems, and a Vertical Launch System second to none.”
“Today’s ceremony marked the culmination of over three years of dedication and hard work by some of the finest sailors I have had the pleasure to lead,” said Capt. James A. Kirk, commanding officer of Zumwalt. “The only thing more impressive than the capabilities of the ship are the capabilities of its fine crew.”