The first sea trials of the future USS Michael Monsoor, the second ship of the Zumwalt-class, the U.S. Navy’s largest and technologically most advanced class of guided-missile destroyers, had to be cut short due to an equipment failure last week, the service said on December 11.
According to Reuters, U.S. Navy officials said that an equipment failure prevented the testing of the Monsoor’s propulsion and electrical systems under full power on December 5 while the ship was at sea.
The ship left Bath Iron Works (BIW), located in Bath, Maine on December 4 to conduct initial builder’s trials at sea.
“The Monsoor’s problem was electrical in nature, with the loss of an induction coil causing the failure of another system,” Reuters notes. The Navy’s 2nd Zumwalt-class destroyer returned to the shipyard under its own power and is currently undergoing repairs.
The U.S. Navy said that the equipment failure will not impact the ship’s delivery to the service scheduled for March 2018.
As I reported last week, the Michael Monsoor is named after a U.S. Navy Seal Medal of Honor recipient killed in Iraq in 2006. The Zumwalt-class destroyer was launched by BIW, a subsidiary of U.S. defense contractor General Dynamics, in June 2016. The ship is expected to be commissioned in 2019.
Zumwalt-class destroyers with their distinct wave-piercing tumblehome hulls and stealth design are equipped with eighty MK57 vertical launch tubes, each capable of accommodating one to four missiles including SM-1, SM-2 and SM-6 missiles or Tomahawk land-attack missiles.
As I explained previously:
There are also considerations to equip the ship with lasers and other high-tech weapons in the future given the Zumwalt’s new integrated power system that can produce approximately 78 megawatts of power–almost as much as a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier The U.S. Navy is currently evaluating a replacement for the primary projectile used for Zumwalt’s two main guns.
As I wrote last year:
With a cost of $800,000 to $1 million per Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) round, the precision ammunition has become too expensive for the service. LRLAP is the only ammunition specifically designed to be fired by the USS Zumwalt’s two 155 millimeter/62-caliber Advanced Gun Systems (AGS), the main armament of the ship with an estimated range of up to 63 nautical miles (72 miles, 115 kilometers).
Last week, noted that the U.S. Navy is currently evaluating three options including Raytheon’s 155 millimeter Excalibur 1b, BAE Systems’ Multi-Service Standard Guided Projectile (MS-SGP), and the Hyper Velocity Projectile (HVP). According to U.S. Navy officials, the Excalibur guided-artillery round will be the most likely choice.
The third and final Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer, the Lyndon B. Johnson, is currently also under construction at BWI.