67% of the fleet
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DID’s FOCUS Article for the DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class “destroyer” program covers the new ships’ capabilities and technologies, key controversies, associated contracts and costs, and related background resources.

The ship’s prime missions are to provide naval gunfire support, and next-generation air defense, in near-shore areas where other large ships hesitate to tread. There has even been talk of using it as an anchor for action groups of stealthy Littoral Combat Ships and submarines, owing to its design for very low radar, infrared, and acoustic signatures. The estimated 14,500t (battlecruiser size) Zumwalt Class will be fully multi-role, however, with undersea warfare, anti-ship, and long-range attack roles. That makes the DDG-1000 suitable for another role – as a “hidden ace card,” using its overall stealth to create uncertainty for enemy forces.

True, or False?
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At over $3 billion per ship for construction alone, however, the program faced significant obstacles if it wanted to avoid fulfilling former Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter’s fears for the fleet. From the outset, DID has noted that the Zumwalt Class might face the same fate as the ultra-sophisticated, ultra-expensive SSN-21 Seawolf Class submarines. That appears to have come true, with news of the program’s truncation to just 3 ships. Meanwhile, production continues.

Zumwalt Class: Program and Participants

As of December 2012, DDG 1000 Zumwalt was about 80% complete and scheduled to deliver in July 2014, with an Initial Operating Capability in July 2016. DDG 1001 Michael Monsoor was about 48% complete, and DDG 1002 (now Lyndon B. Johnson) was just beginning construction preparations.

The most striking thing about the Zumwalt Class program as a whole is the seismic jump in R&D costs. This is hardly surprising given the number of very new technologies involved, and the 2 program restarts along the way. Overall procurement costs have dropped as ship numbers dropped from 32 to 3, but on a per-ship basis they soared from $1.02 billion to $3.71 billion.

The Navy’s build-cost figure has been disputed by past Congressional Budget Office reports, which placed the total even higher at $5.1 billion. The Navy claims that the CBO’s estimate doesn’t consider shipyard improvements that change the build process, a more mature detailed design that has been built several thousand times by computer (a capability developed as a “lesson learned” from the Arleigh Burke program); and the roughly $500 million per ship that is being contracted for on a firm-fixed-price basis. On the other hand, the CBO has been right, and the Navy wrong, when estimating other recent shipbuilding programs.

With DDG 1000 Zumwalt rounding toward completion, we should know who’s right pretty soon. Key members of the DDG-1000′s industrial team include:

Program History: The Long and Winding Road

2006 Schedule
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The Zumwalt Class’ path to fielding has taken a long time, and seen several twists and turns. Given the sheer number of new technologies involved, that may have been a good thing, but the long gestation period has also hurt the program in other ways.

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems’ Ingalls shipyard led the “DD 21 Gold Team” through Phase I (System Concept Design) and Phase II (Initial Systems Design) from 1995-2001, until the program was suspended on May 7/01 pending that Quadrennial Defense Review and other key studies.

In November 2001, the DD 21 Program was restructured as the DD (X) Program. The Navy was directed to conduct a Spiral Development Review (SDR), to revalidate some requirements; and to assess the merits of achieving various levels of capability across a family of ships, including a Littoral Combatant Ship (LCS) and the next-generation CG (X) cruiser. The Request For Proposal for Phase III was issued Nov 30/01.

The Gold Team won on April 29/02, but the contract was delayed until the US Government Accountability Office denied General Dynamics’ protest On Aug 19/02. At that point, a firm winner could be declared. The winning “National Team” was led by Northrop Grumman, and included Raytheon IDS as the prime mission systems equipment integrator for all electronic and combat systems. Other major subcontractors included Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, and Boeing. It even incorporated “Blue team” leader General Dynamics Bath Iron Works as a subcontractor for design and test activities.

By mid-spring 2005, however, a new DDI (design, development & integration) contract was signed. The Navy designated 4 Prime Contractors, to be coordinated through a Navy-Industry DDG-1000 Collaboration Center run by Raytheon. The current Prime Contractors are:

General Dynamics Bath Iron works (ship design & build)

Raytheon (mission systems integration which includes sensors, combat systems, electronics, and the PVLS)

BAE Systems (AGS gun system)

Northrop Grumman Ingalls (ship design & build, relinquished build role)

On Nov 23/05, the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition signed the “destroyer acquisition memorandum,” approving the DDG 1000 program to proceed with Milestone B, and commencing detail design and construction of the first ships. On April 7/06, the program got its second name change from DD-21 and then DD (X), to its official and formal designation as the DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class.

As construction begins, Congressional resolutions have dissolved the US Navy’s original “winner take all” shipbuilding approach; the first 2 DDG-1000 destroyers will now be built at Northrop Grumman’s Ingalls yard in Pascagoula, MS; and at General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. This was expected to add up to $300 million to the cost of each ship, but was expected to help to keep the USA’s industrial base options open for future efforts like CG (X) etc.

Strong arguments can be made for both the Navy’s original option and Congress’ mandated approach… and have been. Under the Navy’s proposed new “Dual Lead Ships Strategy,” the USN planned to benchmark these lead ships from each shipyard against each other, and revisit its options around FY 2009.

That became a moot point when the DDG 1000 program was truncated at 3 ships, a development that ironically led the program back to its original single-builder strategy. Zumwalt Class ships will be built at Bath Iron Works, with Northrop Grumman (now Huntington Ingalls) supplying the composite deckhouse superstructure for all 3 ships.

CG (X) was slated for termination in the FY 2011 budget, and will be replaced by DDG-51 “Flight III” destroyers as of about 2016. Those ships will be built in alternating yards by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and by Northrop Grumman. The question now is whether cost growth and engineering challenges for the Flight IIIs will begin to push them to a level that re-starts debate over building more Zumwalts.

DDG-1000 Key Technologies and Features

DDG-1000: key features
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The Zumwalt Class is currently in the middle of the production phase. When finished, the class is projected at 14,500t, almost 3 times the displacement of some frigates. In other eras, it would have been called a cruiser or even a battlecruiser. A follow-on CG (X) cruiser was also contemplated, and the issues faced by the DDG-1000 Program had a significant influence on its ultimate cancellation. In practice, the 3 DDG-1000s are America’s future cruisers.

Several of the Zumwalt Class’ sub-systems represent entirely new technologies, as seen in the graphics above and below. Some of the key innovations include:

All-aspect Stealth. To achieve survivability in littoral regions close to shore, DDG-1000 ships will be reliant on their ability to see their surroundings and counter threats, while being difficult to detect. The goal is a 50-fold radar cross section reduction as compared to current DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers.

To achieve that stealth, the destroyer’s “tumblehome” inward-sloping hull, shaping, composite superstructure, and other stealth measures are meant to reduce radar, infrared, and other signatures. The ship’s shape reduces its visible wake in the water, and its all-electric power system is quieter. Even the ship’s internal lighting system represents advances in this area.


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Dual-Band Sonar. A dual-band hull sonar is a first for American naval ships, and so is its packaging. The Zumwalt Class’ AN/SQQ-90 sonar system includes the AN/SQS-60 hull-mounted mid-frequency sonar; the AN/SQS-61 hull-mounted high-frequency sonar; and the AN/SQR-20 multi-function towed array sonar and handling system. The sonar system can reportedly be operated by 1/3 the number of crew members required for the AN/SQQ-89 systems on current Arleigh Burke Class destroyers and Ticonderoga cruisers, and the range of frequencies should help find submarines in a wider variety of conditions. Correlation between the ship’s 3 sonars may even produce improved resolution, but the Navy isn’t talking.

Like the ship’s computing environment, the sonar system is packaged in Electronic Module Enclosures (EMEs), which roll in as units and combine the commercial off-the-shelf electronics that power the hull-mounted sonars with shock mitigation, electromagnetic interference protection, thermal conditioning, security and vibration isolation. The electronics to power and control the ship’s hull-mounted sonar arrive in a single, smaller package that’s fully integrated and tested, including the transmit/receive amplifiers, and associated processors that distribute signals and data to the ship’s command center.

Dual-Band Radar (now just SPY-3 X-band). For detection and self-defense, the DDG-1000 was going to rely on a new approach called the Dual-Band Radar, but will now use only the SPY-3. Raytheon’s X-Band SPY-3 radar provides air and surface detection/tracking, and supports fire control. Its use of active array radar technology makes it far more survivable against saturation missile attacks, since it can track and guide against tens of incoming missiles simultaneously. In comparison, the passive S-band phased array SPY-1D radars that equip American AEGIS destroyers and cruisers are limited to terminal guidance against just 3-4 targets at any one time. Active array radars also feature superior reliability, and recent experiments suggest that they could also be used for very high-power electronic jamming, and high-bandwidth secure communications.

The SPY-3 was to be integrated with Lockheed Martin’s active array S-Band volume search radar, and collectively the SPY-3 fore control radar and SPY-4 search array would comprise the Dual Band Radar (DBR) system. The idea was to have the destroyer benefit from the best capabilities of both X-band’s outstanding medium to high altitude performance, and the S-band VSR’s performance in clutter, in order to create a single combat picture. The goal was a 3x improvement over existing AEGIS ships like the DDG-51 destroyers and CG-47 cruisers. In 2010, however, the S-band SPY-4 was cut from the DDG-1000 program. SPY-4 VSR testing will finish, but Raytheon’s X-band SPY-3 fire control radar would be given volume search upgrades, and become the destroyer’s sole radar. DBR will be retained, in smaller form, on the USA’s new CVN-78 Gerald Ford Class aircraft carriers.

Raytheon is the prime contractor for mission systems, which includes the radar and sensors, and also includes the…

Total Ship Computing Environment (TSCE). Rather than doing this piecemeal on a per system basis, the idea is to have an integrated but open architecture approach from the very beginning. This creates a single IT framework, and makes it easier to integrate commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software like IBM blade servers and Cisco routers. That allows the Navy and the prime contractors to use more conventional commercial acquisition approaches/ partnerships to support and upgrade the technology, and also improves wider interoperability. A total of 16 factory configured and tested Electronic Modular Enclosures (EMEs) are distributed throughout the ship. EMEs protect the equipment inside, and the client/server architecture ensures that any workstation can run any task, unlike past ships that have depended on task-focused consoles. The entire assembly is controlled by the TCSE software.

TSCE will be about 8 million lines of code, but it actually connects with about 20 million lines of code reused from other programs (AEGIS, SPQ-89, NAVSSI), plus the secured commercial operating systems, databases, and middleware that underpin the entire infrastructure. TSCE’s functionality is being developed as services, with set interfaces to the underlying commercial software and proprietary code. This allows changes to take place on both ends with minimal disruption of each service. The advances made by TSCE will in turn be reused in the new CVN-78 carriers and CV-X cruisers because of its services framework, design for reuse, and open architecture. That’s good, because $117 million per Zumwalt Class ship is a sizeable investment[1].

TSCE is currently at Release 5/6, and coding for Release 6 is underway. IBM is partnered with prime contractor Raytheon for this component; other key subcontractors include Lockheed Martin.


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Advanced Gun System. The supposed rationale for the DDG-1000 centers around naval gunfire support for troops ashore. While US battleships with 9 massive 16-inch guns have performed extremely well in this role to date, the DDG-1000 intends to rely on 2 of BAE Systems’ rapid fire 155mm Advanced Gun Systems (AGS), each firing up to 304 advanced Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) GPS-guided shells that give the AGS a greatly-extended range of 70-100 nautical miles. The gun will use the AGS Intra-Ship Rearmament System (AIRS) for reloading, providing a safe way of moving AGS pallets between the flight deck and the gun magazine’s pallet hoist, with full performance in conditions up to Sea State 3. Read “Next-Gen Naval Gunfire Support: the USA’s AGS & LRLAP” for fuller coverage of those systems.

BAE is reportedly working on a lighter 155mm AGS assembly that might be suitable for new DDG-51 Flight III destroyers, but it would still weigh twice as much as existing MK45 127/62 caliber naval gun systems. Their joint work with Lockheed Martin on a 5″ LRLAP shell seems likely to pay better dividends,

Beyond the USA, AGS doesn’t have any direct counterparts in other navies yet, but Italy’s OtoMelara has created a rocket boosted, 127/64 caliber GPS-guided shell system called Vulcano with a shorter range, but compatibility with many existing ships. That makes it a much cheaper option. BAE and Lockheed Martin are responding with the LRLAP round that fits BAE’s 5″ naval guns, and other firms like Raytheon (Excalibur naval) are offering guided long-range projectiles of their own.

If enough power can be generated by the ship, future Zumwalt Class upgrades might even include an electro-magnetic rail gun for ultra-long-range, high capacity fire.

Anyone else firing?
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PVLS Missile Launchers. Some additional survivability will come from automated firefighting systems, and even the ship’s missile launchers are designed to contribute. Zumwalt Class destroyers will distribute 80 missile cells in 20 reinforced launchers along the edges of the ship, rather than putting them in one central cluster that can be directly targeted by the most modern missiles. The PVLS system is designed to release and direct the energy from a magazine explosion away from the ship, in order to avoid situations in which the detonation of a round in one cell spreads to other cells, and creates catastrophe.

Mk 57 Peripheral Vertical Launching System (PVLS) cells will be larger than the current Mk 41 VLS, allowing them to carry larger missiles, or multi-pack smaller missiles. Raytheon is the prime contractor, with BAE Systems as a subcontractor.


Critical tech & status
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All-Electric Power. Another challenge the Zumwalt Class will face is power. Ship electronics continue to require more and more power, and this class is also envisioned as an all-electric ship wherein even gun turrets and other mechanical systems will be electrical, and having separate systems for propulsion and power will no longer be necessary. The use of electric drive also eliminates the need for drive shaft and reduction gears, which brings benefits in ship space, acoustic signature reduction to enemy submarines, and less interference with the ship’s listening devices. Not to mention better fuel efficiency, and the potential to accommodate new electronics, more powerful radars, or even energy weapons and rail guns. The DDG-1000′s expected electrical output is 78 MW, compared to 7.5 MW for the current DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class – a capacity limitation that’s endangering plans to refit the Burkes with more advanced radars.

The exact choice of engine systems was somewhat controversial. The concept was originally for an integrated power system (IPS) based on in-hull permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMMs), with Advanced Induction Motors (AIM) as a possible backup solution. The design was shifted to the AIM system in February 2005 in order to meet scheduled milestones; PMM technical issues were subsequently fixed, but the program has moved on. The downside is that AIM technology has a heavier motor, requires more space, requires a “separate controller” to be developed to meet noise requirements, and produces one-third the amount of voltage. Once adopted, however, there was little prospect of going back, since these very differences would create time-consuming and expensive design and construction changes if the program wished to “design AIM out”.

The AIM system is made by Alstom, who also makes electric-drive motors for cruise ships. CAE will supply the integrated platform management system. A Rolls-Royce MT30 36MW gas turbine has powered the IPS Engineering Development Model in Philadelphia, and has now been ordered for production ships. The MT30 has 80% commonality with the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 aero engine used on the Boeing 777, and Rolls-Royce states that it is the most powerful marine gas turbine in the world.

DRS Technologies Power Technology unit had received development contracts for the PMM motors, electric drive, and control system for the IPS, but lost that role when the program switched to AIM technology. The firm does retain involvement in the ship’s “Integrated Fight-through Power” modules and load centers that take converted electrical power, condition it to get it to the right voltages, and distribute it to 8 redundant zones. If you lose power on the port side of the ship, for instance, you can cross-connect it to the starboard side.

DDG-1000 Issues and Controversies

Plan B?
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The Zumwalt Class will incorporate a number of new technologies and capabilities that will make it a very formidable combatant – but it has also had its share of controversies that have included questions concerning its stealth, weapon choices, at-sea stability, cost growth, and the Navy’s future force mix.

Stealth. While the DDG 1000 is designed as a low-emissions ship across a number of wavelengths, it is 50% larger than the already large Arleigh Burke Class destroyers – very nearly the same displacement as the WW2 German ‘pocket battleship’ Graf Spee. On the high seas, it’s a very big ocean; but the Navy wants to take them into the shallow-water littoral zone, where a number of alternative technologies (including swarms of small-medium UAVs with electro-optical equipment, or dhows will cell phones) can be used to find a ship. Once the ship fires its weapons, methods for detecting the ship expand further via options like acoustic sensors. Stealth will still make the ship harder to target and engage, but unlike the Iowa Class battleships, a DDG-1000 will not be able to ignore an Exocet missile strike to its hull.

The Navy believes it can still produce a stealthy enough ship, with enough stand-off range to avoid some threats, and to buy reaction time against others. Naval personnel add that they’re testing the platform to ensure that these goals are met. Some observers are less certain. They also wonder whether a serious, realistic ‘hunt the Graf Spee’ test, using a properly equipped opposing force cleared to use innovative approaches, is even thinkable for a Navy that has invested its prestige and several billion dollars. Without such tests, of course, the only way to find out for sure is the hard way, in battle.

Weapons. One of the issues that did a lot of damage to the DDG-1000 program in its late stages was the revelation that its radar system would not be suited to ballistic missile defense roles, and that modifications to make the radar powerful enough would be problematic. This lack of flexibility proved costly, since cheaper DDG-51 destroyers can be made fully ABM capable using known technologies, while the DDG-1000′s SPY-3 radar and combat system would require the same sort of research program the AEGIS ships went through in order to add BMD capability. The Navy also began to contend that the DDG-1000 would not be able to use Standard family missiles (SM-2, SM-3, SM-6) at all, a charge that has been vehemently and persuasively disputed by Raytheon and others. Raytheon also disputes the charge that its SPY-3 radar would be less suited to the BMD role once software additions were made, contending that its performance would be superior to current ships.

The other weapons-related issue was the 155mm Advanced Gun System. It will be capable of rapid, long range, accurate fire that far out-ranges even a battleship gun. War is also about intimidation, however; otherwise, the inaccurate, slow, but loud and intimidating musket would never have replaced the faster, longer-range, more accurate, but less intimidating crossbow. A 155mm shell doesn’t have quite the psychological impact of a 16-inch, volkswagen-size battleship round, and rapid fire to create that effect risks exhausting the DDG 1000′s limited ammunition supply very quickly.

Reactivating the battleships has been considered, and has had some supporters in Congress. Meanwhile, other navies are developing rocket-boosted guided ammunition for existing 127mm guns, to give them 60+ mile ranges. Can the killing effect of GPS-guided shells hitting targets marked by landing forces provide enough suppression and decapitation to make up the difference? Can the small number of Zumwalts adequately fulfill that role? Or is the AGS/Zumwalt combination the wrong concept for naval fire support?

Tumblehome hull
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Ship shape. Tumblehome hull designs that slope outward to the waterline have had a less-than-stellar naval history. The design offers important stealth benefits, but some experts believe that the ship could capsize in a following sea at the wrong speed, if a wave at an appropriate wavelength hits it at an appropriate angle. That would be… expensive, on many levels. Then again, so is a missile in your hull. Experiments have been run in simulated conditions up to hurricane-level and with scale models up to 1/4 scale, in order to determine safety. The Navy believes the design to be safe across an array of conditions whose breadth matches current ships.

As a new design type, however, the Zumwalt Class can never have the certainty of designs that are known and proven over the immense array of conditions encountered by thousands of ships sailing over many decades. New capability comes with risk, but if it proves out, the USA will have expertise in stealthy ship design and construction that puts it well ahead of other countries. Are the experts who believe the design to be unsafe rigid traditionalists, of the same species that dismissed the aircraft carrier when it was new? Or are they offering a prescient warning?

Cost Growth. In the end, this is the biggest issue faced by the DDG-1000 program. Originally slated to cost under $1 billion per ship, the program has grown to the point that 2005 GAO estimates placed likely average construction costs at $3.2 billion per ship, with ship life cycle costs at about double that of the DDG-51 Arleigh Burk Class ($4 Billion vs. $2.1 billion). Further cost increases are possible based on technical project risks, with some estimates climbing as high as $5 billion.

At that cost level, even the US Navy will find itself priced out of the water, unable to maintain enough ships to serve in the envisaged role. That cost profile also leads one to ask whether the Navy would really send something that expensive into harm’s way in dangerous shallow waters near an enemy coast, knowing that they’re gambling with a $3+ billion asset whose cost makes it an extremely attractive enemy target.

Force Structure. The original plan called for 32 DD (X) ships. That shrank to 8, and now just 3. Reagan’s 600-ship Navy is now projected to shrink to just 313 ships in official plans, and even this may not be achievable; a 2005 Pentagon study stated that the Navy was likely to be up to 40% short on expected funding toward their 375 ship goal, based on reasonably-expected funding profiles.

Even an 8-ship class certainly isn’t going to succeed in replacing 62 DDG-51 AEGIS destroyers – but something will have to do so beyond 2030, or the Navy’s planned force will start becoming ineffective at all levels, as the intended “high-low” mix fails on both ends. DID has already discussed the light armament profile being built into US Navy versions of the Littoral Combat Ship, and their corresponding and compounding lack of weapon flexibility. As Vice-Admiral Mustin (ret.) and Vice-Admiral Katz (ret.) put it in a 2003 USNI Proceedings article:

“Because the Navy has invested heavily in land-attack capabilities such as the Advanced Gun System and land-attack missiles in DD (X), there is no requirement for [the Littoral Combat Ship] to have this capability. Similarly, LCS does not require an antiair capability beyond self-defense because DD (X) and CG (X) will provide area air defense. Thus, if either DD (X) or CG (X) does not occur in the numbers required and on time, the Navy will face two options: leave LCS as is, and accept the risk inherent in employment of this ship in a threat environment beyond what it can handle (which is what it did with the FFG-7); or “grow” LCS to give it the necessary capabilities that originally were intended to reside off board in DD (X) and CG (X). Neither option is acceptable.”

And yet, here we are in 2012, facing their worst case scenario as our current and future reality.

SSN-21: shared fate?

The SSN-21 Seawolf Class remain the best fast attack submarines in the world, with capabilities – and costs – that no other sub can match. That cost eventually led to program cancellation after 3 boats, and replacement by an SSN-774 Virginia Class that integrated many of their key technologies and design approaches at only 60-70% of Seawolf’s cost. In effect, the Seawolf Class became a set of 3 technology demonstrators.

If the Zumwalt Class cannot overcome these controversies with cost-effective performance, DID warned that it could end up sharing Seawolf’s fate. With the 2008 suspension of construction at 2-3 ships, that appears to be exactly what has happened. Even so, spiraling cost growth for the planned DDG-51 Flight III may yet get the Zumwalt Class back into contention as part of the US Navy’s future. If, and only if, the DDG-1000 program can demonstrate promised build and operational costs.

Zumwalt Class: Contracts and Key Events

DDG-1000 vs. DDG-51/2A
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Contracts for the Zumwalt’s AGS/LRLAP long-range naval gun system, and Dual-Band Radar, are each covered in separate in-depth articles. While both systems are integral to the Zumwalt Class, they’re also present, or have the potential to be retrofitted, in other ship types.

Note that frequent references to “Mission Systems Equipment” can cover a wide range of items: Dual Band Radar, external communications suite, Total Ship Computing Environment set, MK 57 Vertical Launching System, AN/SQQ-90 Integrated Undersea Warfare Combat System, Electro-Optical/Infrared suite, IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) integrated sensor suite; and the Zumwalt ship control hardware, including an integrated bridge, navigation, EO surveillance, and engineering control system components.

Unless otherwise noted, contracts are issued by the USA’s Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC.

FY 2013

DDG 1000 deckhouse delivered & fitted; Agile software development.

Deckhouse erection
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Aug 2/13: DDG 1002. GD Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a a $212 million firm target fixed-price incentive to build a steel (not composite this time, q.v. March 28/13) deckhouse and hangar superstructure for DDG 1002 Lyndon B. Johnson, and supply the ship’s aft PVLS launchers. That leaves only DDG 1002′s mission systems contract to finish the order. All funds are committed immediately, using a combination of FY 2010 and FY 2013 shipbuilding dollars.

Work will be performed in Bath, ME (80.5%), Corona, CA (4.1%), Coatesville, PA (2.6%), South Portland, ME (1.4%) and other various locations with less than 1% each (11.4%), and is expected to be complete by December 2016. This contract was a limited competition solicited via FBO.gov by US Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC (N00024-11-C-2306).

July 24/13: DDG 1001. HII announces that they’ve delivered DDG 1001 Michael Monsoor’s final aft PVLS assemblies to the US Navy a week early. They’ll go to GD Bath Iron Works, who is building the hull and performing final assembly.

HII manufactures the composite superstructure for DDG 1000 and 1001 at the company’s composite center of excellence in Gulfport, MS, and makes all of the ship’s 4-cell PVLS launchers in Pascagoula, MS. DDG 1001′s first 2 PVLS units were delivered in July 2012, and the rest of the work is expected to be complete in the Q1 2014. HII.

May 23/13: DDG 1001 Keel Laying. Formal keel-laying, which is actually the 4,400 ton, heavily outfitted mid-forebody section of the ship. The ship is named for Michael Monsoor, a Navy SEAL whose Medal of Honor information is an appropriate Memorial Day reminder. GD BIW [PDF].

March 28/13: GAO Report. The US GAO tables its “Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs“. Which is actually a review for 2012, plus time to compile and publish. As of December 2012, the first 2 ships were 80% and 48% complete, with all contracts awarded. TSCE Release 6 software has begun integration and testing, and the follow-on release that would activate the mission systems is under contract.

Even at this late stage, issues remain. Most critical technologies won’t be fully mature and demonstrated in a realistic environment until after they’re installed in DDG 1000. One such technology, the GPS-guided LRLAP long-range shell, recently had its rocket motor redesigned and tested.

DDG 1002 began fabrication in April 2012, with pending contracts for the deckhouse, hangar, aft peripheral vertical launching system, and mission systems equipment. The Navy is considering a downgrade of the deckhouse to save money. Composite materials are better for stealth, but steel is cheaper, and both shipyards report that it’s a feasible alternative.

March 19/13: Support. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine receives an $18 million contract modification, exercising an option for DDG 1000 class services. This modification provides technical and industrial engineering in the interpretation and application of the detail design to construction of DDG 1000 class ships.

They seem to need quite a few contracts for this.

Work will be performed in Bath, ME, and is expected to be complete by September 2013. FY 2013 Shipbuilding and Conversion funding is being used, and all funds are committed (N00024-06-C-2303).

Dec 28/12: MSE. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems in Tewksbury, MA received a not-to-exceed $169 million fixed-price incentive, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification for deferred mission systems equipment for DDG 1000 and DDG 1001, scheduled critical DDG 1002 non-hatchable mission systems equipment, and non-recurring engineering applicable to mission system equipment design and development.

Discussion with Raytheon clarified that “non-hatchable” Mission Systems Equipment is too large to be installed after the ship is built, as it can’t fit through the ship’s hatches. DDG 1002 Lyndon Johnson’s Mk57 VLS, AN/SQQ-90 sonar, etc. all fall into this category. Deferred MSE items for Zumwalt and Michael Monsoor include the MK57 VLS Launcher’s electronics and mechanical kits, below-deck radio terminals for external communications, and dry-end portions of the sonar suite.

Work will be performed in Moorestown, NJ (37%); Largo, FL (14%); Marlborough, MA (14%); Portsmouth, RI (13.2%); Cordova, AL (10%); Andover, MA (7%); Tewksbury, MA (2%); Sudbury, MA (1.5%); San Diego, CA (1%), and Aberdeen, MD (0.3%), and is expected to be complete by May 2018. $117 million is committed immediately (N00024-10-C-5126). See also Raytheon.

Dec 14/12: DDG 1000. The future USS Zumwalt has its deckhouse superstructure attached to the ship’s hull. “General Dynamics Bath Iron Works Completes Historic DDG 1000 Deckhouse Module Erection” describes the 900-ton static lift in detail: it involves 4 cranes, lifting a 900-ton, 155 x 60 x 60 foot deckhouse about 100 feet in the air, and moving the 610-foot hull beneath the suspended module using the shipyard’s electro-hydraulic ship transfer system. Total tonnage involved was over 13,000 tons.

With the successful lift and integration of the deckhouse, 9 of 9 ultrablock units are now on land level at Bath Iron Works. Construction is now 80% complete, with ship launch and christening planned for 2013. Construction on DDG 1001 Michael Monsoor continues, with delivery planned in 2016. DDG 1002 Lyndon B. Johnson is expected to reach the Navy in 2018. US Navy | GD Bath Iron Works | Erection on video.

Nov 9/12: Support. Raytheon IDS in Tewksbury, MA received an $19 million contract modification for Zumwalt class services engineering efforts, including participation in the joint test team. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, RI (50%); Andover, MA (15%); Moorestown, NJ (10%); Sudbury, MA (10%); Tewksbury, MA (10%); and San Diego, CA (5%); and is expected to be complete by December 2014. US Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-05-C-5346).

Nov 6/12: Agile software. Aviation Week quotes Bill Marcley, Raytheon’s DDG-1000 program manager and VP of Total Ship Mission Systems, who cites the firm’s use of agile software development processes for the ship’s voluminous software. Agile development methods have become common in high-tech industries, and are spreading, but they’re a very uncommon approach in the defense industry. They focus on delivering small bits of working and tested software in a series of short timelines, generally under a month each. The most common status quo alternative involves a series of months-long sequential or slightly overlapping “waterfall” stages of specification, development, testing, and fixes that each encompass the entire project.

Air and missile defense are current foci for Raytheon’s agile ‘stories,’ and a major software review is scheduled for December 2012. Meanwhile, the Navy is sitting in on the scrum teams’ weekly software status reviews, and monthly combat system reviews. One of agile’s benefits is a greater level of assurance and visibility into project progress. It will be interesting to see if this approach spreads within the firm, and the industry. Aviation Week | See also DID: “Sharpen Yourself: The Agile Software Development Trend”

Oct 9/11: Deckhouse. HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division has delivered DDG 1000 Zumwalt’s 900-ton composite deckhouse to the U.S. Navy. The deckhouse contains the ship’s bridge, radars, antennas and intake/exhaust systems, and will be welded to DDG 1000 at the steel base plates that are bolted to the core composite structure. Ingalls has also delivered DDG 1000′s composite hangar and aft PVLS units, and has begun work on the composite components for DDG 1001. HII.

DDG 1000 deckhouse

Oct 1/12: HII in Pascagoula, MS receives an $11.6 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification, exercising an option for FY 2013 class services for the Zumwalt Class.

Work will be performed in Pascagoula, MS (95%), and Gulfport, MS (5%), and is expected to be complete by July 2013 (N00024-06-C-2304).

FY 2012

DDG 1000 Zumwalt keel-laying; Could DDG-51 Flight III cost spirals reignite the DDG-1000s?

Deckhouse build
(click to view full)

Sept 19/12: General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $38.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification, exercising options for additional class and engineering services, involving “technical and industrial engineering in the interpretation and application of the detail design.” The firm describes this work as “manufacturing support services such as engineering, design, production control, accuracy control and information technology… [plus] program management, contract and financial management, procurement and configuration/data management.”

Work will be performed in Bath, ME, and is expected to be complete by October 2013 (N00024-11-C-2306). See also GD release.

Sept 5/12: General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $26 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification, exercising options for additional class and engineering services involving “technical and industrial engineering in the interpretation and application of the detail design.” Work will be performed in Bath, ME, and is expected to be complete by March 2013 (N00024-11-C-2306).

A piece in the Bangor Daily News may offer a more revealing and candid explanation for these continued contracts, so late into the construction process:

Rep. Chellie Pingree echoed the senators’ statements and said the contract will ensure steady design work at BIW through March. “The contract will help keep workers on the job designing and building the DDG 1000 this winter,” she said. “It’s critical to keep up the employment levels at the yard.”

Aug 16/12: Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, MS receives a $7.2 million contract modification for research, development, test, and technical services in support of DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer. DDG 1000 technical services include technology development, analytical modeling, qualification of materials, potential design/process improvements, and design excursions.

Work will be performed in Pascagoula, MS (80%), and Gulfport, MS (20%), and is expected to complete by September 2013 (N00024-06-C-2304).

June 26/12: Move it on over. Huntington Ingalls, Inc. in Pascagoula, MS receives a $9.3 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification. It will pay for the fabrication of cradles, fixtures, and other equipment that are necessary to safely and securely transport their Zumwalt Class assemblies from HII in Pascagoula, MS, to Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME.

Work will be performed in Pascagoula, MS (95%), and Gulfport, MS (5%), and is expected to be complete by June 2014 (N00024-06-C-2304).

May 31/12: General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $17 million contract modification, exercising an option for “technical and industrial engineering in the interpretation and application of the detail design to support construction and the maintenance of the ship design.” Work will be performed in Bath, ME, and is expected to be complete by September 2012 (N00024-06-C-2303).

April 30/12: Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. in Pascagoula, MS receives a $11.5 million contract modification, exercising an option for FY 2012 class services in support of Zumwalt Class product fabrication, delivery, engineering, engineering support and integrated logistics support.

Work will be performed in Pascagoula, MS (95%), and Gulfport, MS (5%), and is expected to be complete by October 2012 (N00024-06-C-2304).

April 16/12: DDG 1002 named. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announces that the last planned ship of class, DDG 1002, will be named after President Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson was a naval officer in the Pacific theater during World War 2, so all 3 ships have been named after Navy personnel, but American ships named after Presidents have been American carriers. The lone exception had been Jimmy Carter, a submariner who had the 3rd and last SSN-21 Seawolf Class fast attack submarine named after him.

We can’t wait until the new ship visits Cam Ranh Bay. US Navy | US DoD.

April 16/12: Sonar. Raytheon announces delivery of DDG 1000 Zumwalt’s dual-frequency AN/SQQ-90 tactical sonar suite, completely assembled and integrated into its Electronic Modular Enclosure (EME). Both the dual-band hull sonar and the EME represent firsts for American naval ships, and the system can reportedly be operated by 1/3 the number of crew members required for the AN/SQQ-89 systems on current Arleigh Burke Class destroyers and Ticonderoga cruisers.

The AN/SQQ-90 includes the AN/SQS-60 hull-mounted mid-frequency sonar; the AN/SQS-61 hull-mounted high-frequency sonar; and the AN/SQR-20 multi-function towed array sonar and handling system. The EME takes a page from the TSCE, in that it efficiently packages the commercial off-the-shelf electronics that power the hull-mounted sonars with shock mitigation, electromagnetic interference protection, thermal conditioning, security and vibration isolation. The electronics to power and control the ship’s hull-mounted sonar arrive in a single, smaller package that’s fully integrated and tested, including the transmit/receive amplifiers, and associated processors that distribute signals and data to the ship’s command center.

April 2/12: General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $9.4 million contract modification, exercising an option for additional class services. Specifically, BIW will provide “technical and industrial engineering in the interpretation and application of the detail design to support construction and the maintenance of the ship design.”

Work will be performed in Bath, ME, and is expected to complete by May 2012 (N00024-06-C-2303).

March 2012: The Pentagon’s Developmental Test and Evaluation and Systems Engineering’s FY 2011 annual report offers an update on the class’ IPS and radar testing:

“The preparations and [land based] testing at the [all-electric Integrated Power Systems'] LBTS were exemplary and undoubtedly resulted in avoiding cost and delay… DDG 1000 program is executing to the current approved TEMP [testing program]. The TEMP is inadequate in that it lacks details of the [SYPY-3 Multi-function Radar's added Volume Search] T&E. Revision E, on schedule for submission for approval in FY 2012, will contain details of the MFR VS test program.”

March 30/12: GAO report. The US GAO tables its “Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs” for 2012. Lead ship delivery is expected in July 2014, with the class expected to be ready to deploy by July 2016. Expected cost per ship remains around $3.5 billion, where it has been for some time now. A number of technologies remain delayed, however, even though the Zumwalt Class has spent more than 3.5x its original R&D projections:

“Three of DDG 1000′s 12 critical technologies are currently mature and the integrated deckhouse will be delivered to the first ship for installation in fiscal year 2012. However, the remaining eight technologies will not be demonstrated in a realistic environment until after ship installation…

“According to program officials, [TSCE] software release 5 has been completed and was used in land-based testing in fiscal year 2011. The program has made changes to release 6, and has prioritized the software needed to support shipyard delivery over… activating the mission systems. This functionality was moved out of the releases and will be developed as part of a spiral… the gun system’s long-range land-attack projectile [LRLAP] has encountered delays, primarily due to problems with its rocket motor. The Navy plans to finalize and test the rocket motor design by March 2012… guided flight tests using older rocket motor designs… demonstrated that the projectile can meet its accuracy and range requirements… Shipbuilders have experienced several challenges in constructing the first and second ships, including issues with the manufacture and installation of certain composite materials.”

Jan 31/12: AGS. BAE Systems in Minneapolis, MN receives a maximum $52 million contract modification, exercising the option for DDG 1002′s Advanced Gun System (AGS). This seems to finalize the Oct 26/11 contract at $125 million.

Work will be performed in Louisville, KY (37%); Cordova, AL (30%); Minneapolis, MN (28%); and Burlington, VT (5%), and is expected to be complete by January 2018 (N00024-12-C-5311).

December 2011: Hand-over. The Pentagon’s Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (AT&L) delegates authority for future DDG 1000 acquisition decisions to the Navy. Source: GAO.

Dec 22/11: General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $17.6 million contract, exercising an option for DDG 1000 class services, esp. technical and industrial engineering in the interpretation and application of the detail design to support construction, and the maintenance of the ship design profile.

Work will be performed in Bath, ME, and is expected to be complete by April 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/12 (N00024-06-C-2303).

Dec 16/11: TSCE order. Raytheon IDS in Tewksbury, MA receives a multi-year, not-to-exceed $254 million letter contract modification. They’ll deliver a set of DDG 1000 Total Ship Computing Environment software for the US Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship, and support post-delivery and post-shakedown work involving the former Spruance Class destroyer Paul F. Foster [DD 964, now SDTS]. They’ll also perform SPY-3 volume search software and firmware development, as their active X-band radar takes over those functions from Lockheed Martin’s active S-band SPY-4. The final set of exercised options and changes here involve general software maintenance in support of the DDG-1000 program.

Work will run until January 2016; $11 million will be provided upon contract award, and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year on Sept 30/12. Work will be performed in Tewksbury, MA (40%); Portsmouth, RI (24.8%); Marlborough, MA (12.7%); Fort Wayne, IN (10.3%); Sudbury, MA (5.8%); Dahlgren, VA (2.7%); Indianapolis, IN (2.3%); and San Diego, CA (1.4%). (N00024-10-C-5126). See also Raytheon’s release says that the DDG 1000 program employs more than 800 Raytheon employees, as well as by approximately 1,800 subcontractors and supplier partners in 43 states across the country.

Dec 2/11: 1002 lead-in. Huntington Ingalls, Inc. in Pascagoula, MS receives a $46.1 million contract modification to procure long lead time material and related support for DDG 1002. A copy of their recent release quotes DDG 1000 program manager Karrie Trauth, who calls the contract strategic to the firm because of the advanced composite shipbuilding capabilities it supports.

Work will be performed at the company’s Composite Center of Excellence in Gulfport/ Pascagoula, MS (28%); as well as Benicia, CA (24%); Burns Harbor, IN (10%); Corona, CA (9%); Monroe, CT (4%); Deerpark, TX (3%); Patterson, NJ (3%); and other various locations with less than 1% of the total (19%). Work is expected to complete by March 2012 (N00024-06-C-2304). See also MarineLog.

Nov 18/11: 1000 keel-laying. The Zumwalt’s Keel is formally laid, in the form of a 4,000 ton ultrablock (vid. Oct 22/11 entry). The physical change is a corollary of using modern block construction techniques. GD-BIW.

Nov 16/11: DDG-51 or Zumwalt? Jane’s Navy International is reporting that DDG-51 flight III destroyers with the new AMDR radar and hybrid propulsion drives could cost $3-4 billion each.

If that’s true, it’s about the same cost as a DDG-1000 ship, in return for less performance, more vulnerability, and less future upgrade space. AMDR isn’t a final design yet, so it’s still worthwhile to ask what it could cost to give the Flight IIIs’ radar and combat systems ballistic missile defense capabilities – R&D for the function doesn’t go away when it’s rolled into a separate program. If the Flight III cost estimate is true, it raises the question of why that would be a worthwhile use of funds, and re-opens the issue of whether continuing DDG-1000 production and upgrades might make more sense. DoD Buzz.

Nov 10/11: Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems in Tewksbury, MA receives a $20.7 million contract modification, exercising options for FY 2012′s DDG-1000 program engineering, production, and integration services. That doesn’t mean the whole ship, just Raytheon’s Mission Systems Integrator role. $5.4 million has already been committed, and the rest will follow if needed.

Work will be performed in Portsmouth, RI (25%); Tewksbury, MA (25%); Marlboro, MA (20%); Dulles, VA (20%); San Diego, CA (5%); and Alexandria, VA (5%), and is expected to be complete by November 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year (N00024-10-C-5126).

Nov 7/11: Aviation Week:

“Enhanced ballistic missile defense (BMD) missions will stretch the future U.S. Navy destroyer force beyond its fleet limits as well as put even more pressure on the service’s already stressed funding accounts, according to an Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN) analysis and a recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report.”

Nov 1/11: General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $14.4 million contract modification, exercising options for DDG 1000 class services and class logistics services associated with detail design and construction. Logistics services include development of training curriculum, supply support documentation, maintenance analyses, and configuration status accounting. Work will be performed in Bath, ME, and is expected to be complete by November 2012 (N00024-06-C-2303).

Oct 31/11: Huntington Ingalls, Inc. in Pascagoula, MS received a $13 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification, exercising FY 2012 Zumwalt destroyer class services. They’ll support fabrication, delivery, engineering, and eng

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