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US Navy Commissions Latest Zumwalt-Class Destroyer
Image Credit: U.S. Navy

US Navy Commissions Latest Zumwalt-Class Destroyer

 
 

The U.S. Navy’s latest Zumwalt-class destroyer, the USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), was commissioned on January 26 at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California.

The warship is named after Michael Monsoor, a U.S. Navy Seal killed in Iraq in 2006 who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. “When you man the rails today and you man your first watch stations at [general quarters], you bring this ship to life in the spirit and legacy of Michael Monsoor with toughness, courage and love, and you will be the defenders,” said Vice Admiral Timothy Szymanski, deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. “You will defend. Stay in the Fight.”

Sally Monsoor, Michael Monsoor’s mother, served as the ship’s sponsor.

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The USS Michael Monsoor is the second Zumwalt-class destroyer to enter the fleet. The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the Michael Monsoor in April 2018.  The ship successfully completed acceptance trials conducted by the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey in February 2018. The Michael Monsoor was built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. The destroyer was laid down in May 2013 and launched in June 2016.

The installation and activation of the Michael Monsoor’s combat systems will continue throughout 2019 and conclude in 2020. The Zumwalt-class destroyer is expected to become operational in late 2020 or early 2021. The Michael Monsoor had one of its two main turbine engines replaced last fall after suffering damage to the turbine blades during acceptance trials in early 2018.

As I explained elsewhere, Zumwalt-class destroyers feature distinct wave-piercing tumblehome hulls and a stealth design meant to reduce the ship’s radar cross-section. The USS Michael Monsoor is fitted with advanced weaponry, although it still lacks the suitable ammunition for its main guns:

Zumwalt-class destroyers are equipped with 80 MK57 vertical launch tubes, each capable of accommodating one to four SM-1, SM-2, and SM-6, or Tomahawk land-attack missiles. The stealth destroyers will also be armed with new long-range anti-ship missiles such as the Maritime Strike Tomahawk following a change of the mission requirements of the Zumwalt-class from a land-attack platform to surface warfare in November 2017.

The Zumwalt-class still lacks a projectile for its two main guns, with the Navy expected to select a replacement in the coming months.

The ship is powered by two Rolls-Royce main turbine generators and two Rolls-Royce auxiliary turbine generators. The Michael Monsoor has a crew of 148 officers and enlisted personnel. The latest Zumwalt-class destroyer will be homeported at Naval Base San Diego, California.

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