The Navy has unveiled the design of its DDG 1002 Zumwalt Class Warship, which will have the capability to shoot energy beams and electromagnetic weapons, and also be the biggest and most automated ship the military arm has ever deployed. General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works is developing it, the first of a new class the Navy expects to roll out sometime in fiscal 2018, which begins Oct. 1, 2017.
The warship includes a number of design features that make it the most powerful and technologically advanced of the Navy's fleet to date, according to Bath Iron Works.
An artist's rendering of the next-generation Navy warship, the DDG 1002 Zumwalk Class Warship, which is being designed and built by General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works. The ship is expected to be on line in fiscal 2018.
The so-called "quiet tumblehome hull form" and a minimal radar signature make the ship especially stealthy, and an enhanced X/SPY X-band radar provides it with advanced detection and interception capabilities even when the ship is close to shore and there is a lot of radar traffic, according to the company. The ship also is more powerful than vessels the Navy uses now, which prepares it for the next-generation of naval weapons that are currently in development, according to Bath Iron Works. Those include futuristic weapons that shoot energy beams and an electromagnetic railgun.
Another key feature of the Zumwalt is its high level of automation, which, although it will be the biggest and most powerful of the Navy's fleet, allows it to employ less manpower than current vessels. New high-tech features of the ship include electric drive/integrated power systems, automated ship control and damage control systems, and a totally integrated, ship-wide command and control system, according to Bath Iron Works.
The company began production on the Zumwalt in early 2011. Production also is underway on the second and third ships in the class, the Michael Monsoor, or DDG 1001, and the DDG 1002, which is as yet unnamed. The Navy plans to use the design of the Zumwalt -- in particular its automated systems capabilities -- as a reference point for future warships, according to Bath Iron Works.
The article notes that the quiet hull tumblehome makes the ship "stealthy." But can a ship that size travelling through the sea really be very stealthy? Or is that just a comparative term, i.e., more stealthy than predecessors?
i seriously doubt a rail gun will ever be deployed as a standard weapon as it tends to destroy itself in a few rounds. With all the problems with it guided rockets are a far better weapon.
An the real future weapon should be a low pressure cannon launching guided projectiles or missles we already have, just modied to launch from th 50-80', 24'' dia fixed at 45deg or so gives warheads 100-500 mile range at a % of the cost of a cruise missle.
Next we just can't afford the oil to run these. They need a small nuke like the Hyperion 100Mw heat source steam generator powering the propulsion and house. When docked can supply the base with electric.
Facts are this too big and easily damaged. Better go to a Tri hull with the outer ones protecting the inner one from fighting damage. Other advantages is on a 500' Tri you can do an aircraft carrier as so much deck. Destroyers, Cruiser like above only 250-300' long.
No Navy can bring up 10% of ours so greatly increasing size, numbers, tech makes no sense when smaller, more economical, survivable craft able to put far more ordnance on target farther away run on mini inherently safe nukes would make a better future we might be able to afford.
And maybe a gov that stops starting wars over oil so the navy can do things like diaster relief, etc instead so we might be better received in other lands and less wanting to kill us. Just a thought. PS Saves a lot of money too.
Nice article, Elizabeth. When Bath rattles off details such as "electric drive/integrated power systems, automated ship control and damage control systems, and a totally integrated, ship-wide command and control system," it sounds like a modern factory.
@JDT: I agree. I bet there was and still is a serious simulation aspect to this ship to test all types of conditions whether related to the weather or to different types of at-sea battle scenarios. It would be interesting to inside the war-room of sorts to see what is being conducted.
Naval warships take a lot of beatings, whether it be from Mother Nature, pounding seas, storms, etc. of from NGS. I worry about automation, and builders trying to cut corners to save on the budgets. It will be the crews that pay the price for their oversight.
These ships MUST be tested in all types of conditions to the fullest extent possible, and the longest time possible.
Good question. I'm curious about the cost too. The article says that less manpower can be used in these more powerful vessels. Is the lower payroll balanced out by the higher cost or is there long-term savings?
This next-gen warship is sooner than expected but right on time given that we move faster through cycles-fashion, innovation, etc.-than ever before. It's good to see the navy addressing noise pollution in the ocean.
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