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US Navy to Commission New Stealth Destroyer This Week
Image Credit: U.S. Navy

US Navy to Commission New Stealth Destroyer This Week

 
 

The second ship of the Zumwalt-class, the future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001),  will be commissioned on January 26 at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California. The Michael Monsoor will be the second Zumwalt-class destroyer, the U.S. Navy’s biggest and technologically most advanced new class of guided-missile destroyers, to enter the fleet.

Zumwalt-class destroyers are the most lethal and sophisticated destroyers ever built,” the U.S. Navy said in a January 18 statement. “They provide deterrence and forward presence by bridging today’s innovation with future technology.”

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the Michael Monsoor in April 2018.  This was preceded by the successful completion of acceptance trials conducted by the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey — the service’s principal entity inspecting and reporting on a ship’s readiness for active duty operations — in February 2018.

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In the fall of 2018, the Michael Monsoor had one of its two main turbine engines replaced after suffering damage to the turbine blades during acceptance trials earlier this year. “Although the engine still worked, the U.S. Navy decided to replace one of two Rolls-Royce MT30 Main Turbine Generators, a derivative of the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 that powers the Boeing 777 twin-engine jet airliner, following the discovery that a foreign object had damaged some of the engine’s blades,” I wrote at the time.

The installation of a new main turbine engine did not affect the ship’s overall induction and deployment schedule. The installation and activation of the guided-missile destroyer’s combat systems will continue following the official commissioning of the warship throughout 2019 and conclude in 2020. The destroyer is expected to become operational in late 2020 or early 2021. 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 U.S. Navy accepted partial delivery of the Monsoor in late April following the completion of acceptance trials overseen by the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey — the service’s principal entity inspecting and reporting on a ship’s readiness for active duty operations — in February 2018.

Like its predecessor, the USS Michael Monsoor is fitted with advanced weaponry, although it still lacks the proper 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 USS Michael Monsoor will be homeported at Naval Base San Diego, California.

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