Shutdown Postpones Zumwalt Christening

Shutdown Postpones Zumwalt Christening

The Navy on Friday postponed the christening of the biggest and most expensive destroyer ever built because of the government shutdown.

Bath Iron Works will still launch the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) into Maine’s Kennebec River as scheduled on Oct. 19, but the formal christening ceremony for the 610-foot, $3 billion ship named for the late Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, the former chief of Naval Operations, has been put off indefinitely.

“It is incredibly unfortunate that we are being forced to cancel the christening ceremony for this great warship,” said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. “But the ongoing government shutdown prevents us from being able to honor Adm. Zumwalt’s memory with a ceremony befitting his and his family’s legacy of service to our nation and our Navy.”

Ann Zumwalt and Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers, the daughters of the late admiral, were the sponsors of the ship and had been scheduled to christen the new destroyer.

The Zumwalt will be the first in what is now a very small class of new and stealthy destroyers. The Navy originally wanted to build 32 of the destroyers but that number was reduced to 24, then to seven, and now to three, because of runaway costs and problems with the radar-deflecting design of the hull.

The next Zumwalt class destroyer will be the Michael Monsoor, the Navy SEAL who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in Iraq, and the third and last will be named for former President Lyndon B. Johnson.

“The christening of the Zumwalt is a big deal, but the government shutdown just made it impossible for the Navy to pull off the ceremony next weekend,” Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine., said in a statement. “It was “another example of how the government shutdown is impacting Maine.”

Despite the shutdown, another contract to complete work on the Zumwalt went ahead. Bath Iron Works announced Friday that the Navy had awarded the shipyard a $13.3 million contract to complete work on the deckhouse of the Zumwalt.

The postponement for the Zumwalt was the only ship’s christening that has been delayed during the shutdown, a Navy official said, but the Navy announced Friday that a Wounded Warrior job fair scheduled for Nov. 16 and 17 in Raleigh, N.C., had also been canceled.


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Ceremonies for ships are superstition anyways.

Or: Nothing about it in the bible, therefore…

Launch ship, take it on shakedown, deploy to the Pacific.

hmm, interesting. One would assume that the christening expenses would have been paid long ago. One does not schedule a christening at the last minute, these things are planned months in advance. This sounds a bit fishy to me.

Next thing you know they will start closing down open air monuments due the gov-ment slimdown…

TDY for most of the military is currently turned off, so no official travel to attend the ceremony.

It’s tradition. Sailors like their tradition.

The Zumwalt is NOT a destroyer, but a cruiser.

If it wasn’t a ‘Make them feel the pain’ retaliatory effort, the Navy would have been well served to just have the Zumwalts, the Bath workers and the plank owners there for the Champagne bashing and river splash. Less pomp may have been a christening to remember.

Yea sure a cruiser with the firepower of a destroy and the costs of a carrier.

Who the f/ck cares about your bible. Talk about superstition.

Woah there, this is ‘murrica! You can’t say those things!

The Zumwalt is actually as large as a WWI battleship, in tonnage.

with the firepower of a destroyer and is expected to operate in the littorals (close in to shore in the area’s they said fishing ships and cargo vessel all freaking day.….…and NO ONE…will notice them???

We will delay the christening so we can all get PTO to show up. Hooray Navy. Too many admirals with too much free time.

American and in most instances ships are defined by the roles they play. The Zumwalts were designed to replace our DDG’s and run basically the same missions.……meaning they are indeed Destroyers.…..

The fact that they are “Stealth” battleship sized ones is the stupid part.

“The Navy originally wanted to build 32 of the destroyers but that number was reduced to 24, then to seven, and now to three, because of runaway costs and problems with the radar-deflecting design of the hull.”

It is as though the Department of the Navy has become completely amnesiac about more than a century of previous shipbuilding and ship operating experience. (If the LCS circus had not already proven that point.)

Classes with such small production runs are horribly financially inefficient. The nonrecurring engineering costs are split across too few hulls. Class-specific spare parts provisioning and class-specific sailor training are expensive nightmares.

From a bang per buck standpoint, at a time when bucks are getting desperately scarce, the only rational solution would have been to build more DDG51.

If Zumwalts are needed to prove out technologies that might be used in future advanced DDG51 variants, build a single floating prototype that won’t see combat, and don’t bother commissioning it. Use it only as a testbed.

They cut the number down to seven and then three before construction started, so how did they even know there would be these problems with the hull?

In the long term the DDG-51 design doesn’t have enough growth potential. There isn’t enough power on-board for the equipment we’re talking about these days. For that we’re going to need a whole new class.

One-off ships testing a lot of new systems have been commissioned and provided good service in the past. USS Long Beach (CGN-9) comes to mind. Yet DDG-1001 and 1002 are well under construction by now.

They should continue with this design and additional Flight III Burkes. The technologies for this ship would be suited to a Flight IV Burke with upgraded power system and the deckhouse from the DDG-1000. The current Burkes don’t have the growth potential that this design does, with its integrated power supply and other automated systems. Its a shame that they lowered the amount of ships that will be bought but I’m sure that they’ll end up reviving the program sometime in the near future.

USN needs a new large fast Cruiser for providing air and missile defense in the CSG, a warship that will place much larger aperture radar in the CSG than can be carried by existing warship platforms (radar performance scales with the cube of aperture diameter) to provide more time to react against faster and stealthier threats. It should have the C2 capacity to serve as flagship of the surface warship group and submarines attached to the CSG. And it should have speed and endurance that meets or exceeds that of the CVN. USN needs a new CGN.

The Arleigh Burke platform is excellent for blue water DDGs, and a future cheaper flight of A-Bs with reduced overall content might be better focused on increasing blue water ASW capacity in the CSG, but the A-B platform isn’t big enough to support the larger radar that is going to be needed for air and missile defense against much stealthier and/or much faster moving threats than currently faced today. China is working hard at improving capabilities in those areas, and won’t pause in their effort if we pause.

Packing on the slightly larger radar of A-B Flight III is already compromising other capabilities that the A-B platform is better suited to, and is leaving no significant remaining growth margin for future systems. New ships should have a life expectancy exceeding 3 decades, should have margins to allow later addition of new capabilities, and should not be designed to only counter yesterday’s threats or refight grandad’s wars.

Time has only one direction, forward. …and waits for no man.

The new Burke class destroyers were built along side the last of the Ticonderoga class Cruisers in the same shipyards. Burkes and Ticos were nearly the same size on paper. So much so that there fuel tanks that the Burkes did not use during initial sail away because with those added fuel reserves Burkes were as large as the cruisers in displacement. It was a tough sell to congress to get destroyers and cruisers with the same weapon systems. During post shake down availability, these empty tanks were then opened for use adding increased fuel reserves and on paper larger displacement. Now I am just a simple Oil King off DDG-52 commissioning crew but just looking at these Zumwalts, if it looks and smells like a cruiser.…must be a cruiser.

The firepower and quantities of the missiles that ship carries, far outweighs that of your average, run-of-the-mill destroyer.

However, that said, I would’ve preferred larger guns. But those who run defense-oriented companies that sell their wares to the Navy (and federal government) don’t like guns: Shells are cheap, and missiles provide far higher profit margins.

Personally, I’m unimpressed the christening ceremony isn’t happening. I was planning to drive up to Bath to view the ceremony with my brother and a few other friends.

There’s only going to be three (3) Zumwalts built — hence this might be the only opportunity to see one up close.

By tradition, isn’t that who normally participates?

PCU Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is a large destroyer optimized for land attack, and is not a cruiser. Ships are classed based on capability not displacement. A destroyer lacks the command and control (C2) capabilities that a cruiser would use to lead a group of warships and submarines.

It was CGX that was to be a cruiser sharing much in common with the DDX land attack destroyer, but CGX was cancelled, and DDX eventually became DDG-1000. Terminating CGX did not terminate the need for a new class of cruiser, though what they need in cruiser may be very different from what had been conceptualized in CGX.

now quit being a atheist jerk and attacking someone for something he didn’t say. He said nothing about the bible.

We finally reached a pain in the shut down that piece of cap LCS is floating around all other and no DDG-1000 shut down or not though. This is stupid doesn’t take much $$$$ to break a bottle of spirits over the haul of the ship.

To the contrary, I did.

Oh come now, we all know that’s generally true except when it comes to increasing consumption.

“Don’t want to fly a plane with JDAMs? Just use our GPS-guided shells and use ten or twenty rounds to get the same effect for twice the price!”

All of the CGN’s have already had their cores removed, yes?

I suppose as part of the nuclear recycling program, if they’ve have their deck structures removed but the core is still in place…maybe they could be reused?

The money advanced to pay for the christening probably got reallocated to ops.

Navy probably thought the shutdown would end a little sooner.

Indeed, and the magic bottle of wine does nothing to enhance warfighting capability.

I suppose if we were actually at war we might dispense with the ceremony and go directly to sea, but since it’s still peacetime…

(Though realistically, it may be cheaper to delay Zumwalt deployment if there is no money allocated to pay for the ship’s shakedown trials).

To big for a Destroyer!.To us “tin can” sailors they were the gray hounds of the sea. much smaller and armed to the teeth. And ran on steam!

Years ago our Congress supported President Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars Program. Now I believe he is looking down and shaking his head in disgust at the spectacle of military sequester by certain factions within his Grand Old Party.

That is OK, I’ve seen over a Billion in waste in just 6 yrs. at the USAF…

No it’s NOT. Look up you facts. She might have more tonnage than a pre-World War One Battleship.
MMCS(SS)(SW) USN Ret. Check out KCBAdoian​.com

Not all true, at least with respect to your average, run of the mill US Navy destroyer. Burkes carry 10–16 more VLS tubes, and can employ a wider array of missles. About the same aviation capability. Couldn’t speak to stealthiness or systems, and obviously the Zumwalt has superior NGFS capabilities.

Classifications such as Destroyer or Cruiser are antiquated and irrelevant in today’s naval environment. The lethality of modern weapon systems changes the way ships are viewed. Survival will depend more on electronics and stealth than size, armor and gun caliber. I suspect the Zumwalt class is a “test-bed” for more advanced ships. The hull design presents interesting possibilities, but also potentially exposes the ship to sea-state related hazards and handling difficulties. The other big issue for the class is combat survival, what is the right combination of structural design, electronic warfare package and armament?

Anyone know what time the DDG 1000 will be launched? I want to drive down from Rockland to watch.

Our illustrious government personnel have no common sense, don’t care how much money they waste, or plan properly for the future (they have proven that for the last 40 years). Pork barrel spending has become the rule instead of the exception of many years ago. Congress is the biggest laughing stock in the world as far as I am concerned. They all need to pull their heads out of their butts and learn how to be honest, upstanding citizens instead of a bunch of crooks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brings back memories, worked for Zumwalt on his personal staff in the early 70s. Nice family!

Now that the government shutdown is over, let’s launch us some ships!


Somehow I suspect Obama would view the great Admiral Zumwalt as the enemy anyway. Shame we have sunk to this.

At this cost I hope for defense sake it wont be destroyed during the actual trials with the Chinese in the Pacific.


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