Asia Defense

2nd Zumwalt-Class Guided Missile Destroyer Completes Acceptance Trials

The stealth destroyer successfully completed acceptance trials on February 1.

2nd Zumwalt-Class Guided Missile Destroyer Completes Acceptance Trials
Credit: US Navy

The future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), the second ship of the Zumwalt-class – the U.S. Navy’s biggest and technologically most advanced class of guided-missile destroyers – successfully completed acceptance trials on February 1, according to the Naval Sea Systems Command, the agency responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of the U.S. Navy’s fleet of ships and combat systems.

“The U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey reviewed the ship and its crew during a series of demonstrations both pier side and underway, evaluating the ship’s construction and compliance with Navy specifications,” a February 2 statement reads. “Many of the ship’s onboard systems including navigation, damage control, mechanical, electrical, combat, communications, and propulsion systems were tested to validate performance met or exceeded Navy specifications.”

The Board of Inspection and Survey is the U.S. Navy’s main body inspecting and reporting on a ship’s readiness for active duty operations.

“DDG 1001 performed exceedingly well during acceptance trials,” Kevin Smith, the Zumwalt-class class program manager said. “The industry and Navy team worked together to incorporate lessons learned from DDG 1000.” The USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) is the lead ship of the new Zumwalt-class and was commissioned in October 2016. The 16,000-ton guided-missile destroyer is expected to become operational this year.

One the ship’s first overseas deployments could be to East Asia, as I reported in 2017.  The U.S. Navy has offered to send the USS Zumwalt to the Korean Peninsula to accentuate U.S. defense commitments to South Korea. “Armed with SM-1, SM-2 and SM-6 missiles (fired from the ship’s Mk 57 Vertical Launch System), the Zumwalt can be used for ballistic missile defense,” I noted. However, the lead ship of the destroyer class, featuring wave-piercing tumblehome hulls and a futuristic stealth design, still lacks a projectile for its town main guns.

As I explained previously:

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).

As of now, the U.S. Navy has not selected a replacement for the LRLAP.

The future USS Michael Monsoor was launched by Bath Iron Works (BIW) which is owned by U.S. defense contractor General Dynamics, in June 2016. BIW is also working on the third ship of the Zumwalt-class, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson.