Hagel Asked About DDG 1000’s Future

Hagel Asked About DDG 1000’s Future

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was asked point blank on his visit Thursday to Bath Iron Works whether the Pentagon would reverse its decision back in 2008 to buy fewer DDG 1000 destroyers and more Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

Hagel didn’t offer a direct answer. Instead the defense secretary told the crowd of sailors and ship builders the Navy continues to consider its future and the current budget constraints has forced the service to change its plans. However, he never offered a signal that the Navy would make a push toward additional DDG 1000s beyond the three already planned.

In 2008,  then-Chief Naval Officer Adm. Gary Roughead announced that the service would curtail its planned purchase of DDG 1000 destroyers in favor of the Arleigh Burke. Navy leaders explained that changing priorities had forced the service to make the decision. In 2010, then Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the program would end after the three ships were built.

Hagel told the crowd that the DDG 1000 “has a rather significant future” before he described the challenges the Defense Department is facing as the military deals with sequestration and continuing resolutions.

“We are going through a difficult time now, but we’ll get through it,” Hagel said.

Hagel visited after the Navy recently christened the USS Zumwalt, the first of three Zumalt-class destroyers planned by the Navy. The second two Zumwalt-class destroyers planned for the fleet are the USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and the USS Lyndon B Jonhson (DDG 1002) slated to join the fleet in 2018 and 2021, respectively, Navy officials said.

Hagel linked the DDG 1000 to the military’s Pacific shift and indicated that the ship’s first assignment will start from San Diego, Calif.

“It represents an important shift of our balance in assets, in our focus, America’s interest to the Asia Pacific. We are not retreating from any part of the world,” Hagel said.

The DDG 1000 is engineered with a wave-piercing Tumblehome hull, a configuration designed to reduce the radar cross-section of the ship and strengthen the stealth profile. Among other things, the Tumblehome hull is engineered so that its sides slope inward above the waterline.

“The shape of the superstructure and the arrangement of its antennas significantly reduce the ship’s radar cross section, making the ship less visible to enemy radar at sea,” a Navy statement said.

The ship is also built with an Advanced Induction Motor, or AIM, a technology which uses an electric-drive propulsion system to move the ship through the water, officials said.

The DDG 1000, which weighs more than 14,500 tons and it 600-feet long, will also generate as 78 megawatts of power with its all-electric integrated power system. This electrical capacity is also designed to accommodate future technologies as they emerge such as electro-magnetic rail guns and lasers, Navy officials said.

The ship will be formally delivered to the Navy for testing late next year and is slated to reach what’s called initial operating capability by 2016.

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Three ships… Like the Seawolf submarine.

So where are they going to be home-ported, Pearl Harbor? San Diego? Will they form their own squadron or will they usually be part of a different CVBG’s?
They sure seem to be more of a cruiser than a destroyer, but I don’t know how the ships will be used.

Hagel visited after the Navy recently christened the USS Zumwalt, the first of three Zumalt-class destroyers planned by the Navy.
The Zumwalt’s christening was postponed due to the government shutdown, and was rescheduled for Spring 2014.

And given no one knows how well this ship is going to perform and the per-sea-frame cost, the chances of more of these being built are pretty remote. I would guess that if the hull design, and propulsion system, etc., are really successful, there will probably be a follow-on class of destroyer using a lot of the same ideas, just as with what happened with the Seawolf’s and the subsequent Virgina-class SSN’s.

Indeed, the Zumwalts are as large (in tonnage) as a WW2 heavy cruiser, and as large as some older model battleships.

It will be interesting to see where they are based and how they’ll be used. I would venture they’ll be part of several ARGs, each cruising the more “interesting” parts of the world.

I hope they do not home-port them all in the same place. One nuke takes out the port, we could lose all 3.

I am perplexed. Given the US navy’s huge size, it should be BETTER at building ships than we Euro’s, yet that isn’t the case. Take frigates. This is a big frigate no? Why can’t the US just build an UP TO DATE frigate, instead of either building 1980’s vintage models (arleigh burke) or shooting for the 24th century, with the Zumwalt. Even the US can’t afford 3bn dollar frigates. Where are the normal modern mid-stealth frigates you can build 100 of? Like Germany’s newest frigates, or Dutch M frigates, or even Danish/Swedish frigates. French can even do it. Heck even the Spaniards. You would still win by sheer numbers. Why shoot for the stars? Why not a normal 2013 frigate that’s capable, AFFORDABLE and yet modern and semi stealthy? Like the type 45 of the united kingdom? Modern, capable and AFFORDABLE? You could buy 5 of those for a single Zumwalt. Really, a single Zumwalt wouldn’t sink 5 type 45’s.

Every naval base will be a nuke target. Dispersing them separately won’t make that much of a difference. Worry more about the carriers.

If a newer ship is cheaper, we should go with that. No use crying over the Zumwalts, though if production can be extended and the vendor can deliver a better price then we should go for it. But extending production for the sake of extending production should be avoided.

They should buy a 4th ship in class (DDG-1003) to enable the usual four ship rotation, to allow one of the four to remain deployed. For that one deployed, there is another returning from deployment, another preparing to deploy, and one undergoing repairs/refit.

Considering the Zumwalt hasnt been tested in the open ocean, as the general public, we have no idea of its capabilities. It would be prudent to hold off on making guesses on its capabilities.

Frankly, I find it quite naive to make assumptions about a vehicle that has not had open ocean trials as of yet, and certainly hasn’t had any of the new internal platforms tested in an operational manner.

I understand Europeans are a prideful bunch, maybe not as much as us Americans, but you should slow down and consider that the USA has a track record of producing military equipment that is virtually unparalleled in performance and capabilities. This has been to the pleasant surprise of many in Europe and quite a detriment to nations that oppose “Western” ways of thought.

Throughout history the USA has been able to lead the way in technologically advanced military hardware and has PROVEN combat capabilities on NUMEROUS platforms across the spectrum of the armed services.

Just think about all the platforms the USA has produced that have been called “inadequate” only to find out later in REAL combat scenarios that those platforms dominate their adversaries.

So, before you make judgement about this program consider what history has shown to be true. Not everything we make is perfect and suitable for use but that doesn’t mean we should consider new platforms inadequate or not effective. Only history will tell us what we want to know in this regard.

The Type 45 is a air destroyer and really is pretty expensive. The Tico’s are their competitors.

Second.…wtf are you talking about frigates.

This is a destroyer. Really a light cruiser. It was built with the idea it would be mainly for land attack. The problem is then some assholes said, “lets make it super stealthy and have far, far less crew than it needs!”

Now this was stupid but that’s generally what the US has done with its weapons systems the last decade or more. Why?

Optimal manning (which even the navy realized was stupid and has sense stopped) means the slack has to be taken up by systems. almost 60% or greater of a modern warship isn’t the hull its the electronics and systems Inside the ship. So our cost sky rocket as these systems are demanded to expand and do damn near everything.

Then add in the R&D for more and more stuff added and you get…3 billion dollar battleship sized destroyers.


part 2

Now frigates.

You are correct. Many in the Navy said we needed frigates. Many pointed at the Absolon and like vessel’s as the starting point for our idea’s. European Frigates won’t work because the are built for a European operating schedule and pattern of needs in the area’s like speed, range, length of deployment etc. For instance the Spanish and french during the Libya Campaign had a lot of problems with the great demands the op tempo put upon their ships. So great that the Admiral in charge of the fleet warned that when the job was over the whole fleet would need greatly extended maintenance periods.

What allows for their small size and needs is a different demand upon the vessel. Hence they are cheaper but can’t fit the role the USN needs as it has need of much more range and staying power and a far harsher operating tempo which requires more sailors per ship.

But when it was all over the USN went with the LCS. The USN said we don’t need a frigate. In its place we got a ship which appears to be cheaper but in reality is very expensive to operate because it requires massive shore side support and simply can’t meet any of the requirements it had demanded. Basically the ship is designed to operate along the lines of a fighter aircraft. This doesn’t work at sea and ignore a host of issue’s.

So while you are correct we need a frigate the truth is there is no ready made alternative. And the Navy’s problem is that it try’s to cram everything into one vessel of a single class which really require 2 different ships with 2 sets of combat focus.

Exactly like the Seawolf.

My friend guest, I am NOT questioning US military design or military contractor design capabilities. You’ve indeed had a good track record and many innovative designs (though if Europeans pooled their money and spent as much on defence, they’d be on par I am VERY sure), but that’s another thing.

Numbers. We all know Europeans can build frigates like the best of them, as can the Japanese. You can NOT tell me a single zumwalt can sink 5 of Europe’s newest frigates, though it DOES cost as much as 5. America can NOT afford one hundred 3bn a pop frigates, even if you’d tax homeless people. So that’s IMpractical. As I see it, AND support, these 2/3 ships are technology demonstrators, and will be trickling this technology into VIABLE future frigate platforms. By viable I only mean affordable enough for mass procurement. I’m sure the Zumwalt is better than Europe’s best frigates right now, but FIVE times better than our best? I think not. And numbers, if 5 ships surround 1, it will be sunk, even at the cost of perhaps 3 others.

I understand, well laid out post. You’re more knowlegable than me for sure. I didn’t realize the US has indeed different needs etc. But it seems the US always goes for ‘quirky and expensive’ as opposed to practical and affordable. Take your ships, always bigger, nuclear, and not necessarily better. I don’t mean that bad, but it’s PROVEN FACT that submarines from 5 or 6 countries PENETRATED your aircraft carriers. Sweden/Germany/China etc etc. So a carrier combat group is really very sinkable. That means, a much more CHEAP sub, German type 212 etc (fuel cell diesel submarine) is much more effective than those nuclear subs, which are really standoff weapons in a cold war scenario. Not talking of SSBN’s, those are part of the triad, I mean the SSN’s (attack sub). Why are those nuclear? 2 billion a pop, you could buy 4 stealth SOUNDLESS fuel cel diesel subs. You guys put all your eggs in nuclear propulsion (subs and carriers) and have no more diesel technology. SSN’s should be diesel fuel cell, your SSBN’s and carriers should be nuclear. Hope you guys get it.

Even your abrams is going to get a MTU German v12 diesel. Pretty sad, all those diesel companies you used to have like Detroit Diesel. All great tech and knowledge you’ve lost by negligence.

MTU is Detroit Diesel now
5 to 1 the Navy redesignates them cruisers down the road like the Leahys

Hopefully the next model of this variant can dive deep like a submarine, and heard him saying dive zulu dive.

I must be missing something. How this became a contest of which continent can sink the others ships is beyond me.… Lets all try to be adults.

Also, I agree with you, the Zumwalt is most likely a technology demonstrator as are all brand new platforms. Maybe more will be produced maybe not, time will tell.

To address the issue of your seeming superiority complex; which I thought was bad among Americans, but seems to be worse with Europeans, if I am to judge from your comments. Europe can’t even decide if it wants to be a singular entity or a group of schoolgirls bickering over which cute boy to date. So before we get into a pissing contest on who has the bigger ship remember what may be accompanying an American ship before you fantasize scenarios of Euro-centric naval domination.

In other words, keep dreaming.

Zumwalt is electric propulsion NOT Nuclear, so that is not relevent. If you do some actual research (read:outside your brain, maybe from a book or actual government specs) you can see the total numbers for each type of vessel and by propulsion type. Amazing how many NON-NUCLEAR vehicles there are in the US inventory.

Please do not open your mouth only to spew BS of which you obviously have no ACTUAL facts

Euro domination? I’m talking about European navies actually building NORMAL shipt. That means not star wars ships, but ships that are better than Chinese ships, affordable, and can be built in bulk and even exported. That’s money in the bank. Sinking each other’s ships? Isn’t that what it’s about in the end in case of war?

Like building a fighter jet, would you ask: “who cares who can shoot down who, are you childish?”

I’m talking about submarines. Nobody builds nuclears non-subs or non-carriers. Nuclear propulsion is LOUDER than fuel cell diesel. End of that. And Zumwalt’s ON BOARD systems are electric, it still has GAS engines to move forward smart man.

Our nuclear attack submarines deploy across the globe. These diesel subs you praise for the most part do not take such deployments. They are for coastal defense and don’t have the raw performance of modern nuclear attack subs.

So how about the Fast Missile Craft that VT Halter in Pascagoula MS is building for the Egyptian Navy. Quoting from Maritime Memos, one of my favorite blogs.

” The ENS S. Ezzat, is a 600-ton, 200-foot boat that does comfortably over 40 knots and carries an awesome range of weaponry, including eight Harpoon missiles. We could use a few of these in the U.S. Navy, maybe. Would they not be much more cost-effective in coastal waters than either design of LCS? And we ought to be selling them worldwide as well. Halter could ramp up its assembly line to, say, six boats a year, all of standard design for optimum efficiency, and then the Navy could arrange for any mods required by the end users.”

At 240 Million a copy, I could pick up about 12–13 of these for the price of a single DDG 1000.

Last time I checked, we still had CAT diesels in quite as few ships, including the T-AKE’s.

LCS will probably obsolete itself once we get the drones in place and an appropriate module system. By the time the modules are perfected, they will probably build a new module control ship design.

It is regrettable we did not go with a more traditional ship design that could deploy modules, but the Navy wanted something fast with long-range, high-speed and good sea-keeping.

I just see LCS as an Armed Transport…it helps me sleep at night.

This one “can dive like a submarine”. The real question is, can the crew survive when it does?

Having a fleet of diesel-only submarine look good on a spreadsheet until you realize that those engine consume the oxygen of your crew. Nuclear sub is at great advantage here as it doesn’t need to surface as often, which I think is a great tactical advantage.

I am not saying that diesel sub are death or useless, just that neither of them got an absolute advantage.

So where does this leave us? The nation that has a blue water navy needs those loud nuclear subs? And the defenders are actually at an advantage because they can has fuel cell diesel subs? What the heck kind of status quo is that? In order to project power one needs to be loud? How does that pan out in a war? Germans could sink every carrier battle group. That’s not desirable for you?

All make good points. To me bottom line is DDG-1000 is too expensive for an undefined mission and LCS has too little capability and staying power. DDG-51’s are great all around ships and what really counts is the sensors and weapons is carries, not so much the age of the original hull design. However I acknowledge that in some instances/missions DDG-51 may be overkill. My recommendation would be keep the first DDG-1000 as a demonstrator hull, cancel the remaining two and cancel the remaining LCS program and instead build a new FFG based either on the coast guard nationial defense cutter or even the OHP FFG design but update with modern sensors and weapons like AEGIS with VLS.

I rather have this than useless LCS ships.

For the Arleigh Burke class to stay viable after AMDR is added they will need to look at a new powerplant that generate a lot more power then the current one’s do. That would take a significant amount of money to redesign them. Probably to the point that it will make more sense to build a new design.
Before any of that should happen though, the Navy needs to investigate what happened to the USS Chancellorville to make necessary design changes to prevent it from happening again.

Electric is louder in absolute terms, but in practice the“advantage” is not there. A nuke boat is faster, meaning it can reach trouble spots quickly and use its speed to escape threats. A nuke boat is heavily built, making it more survivable and giving advantages like a deeper diving depth and the ability to surface in an ice pack. A Nuke boat can operate underwater for as long as the food stores hold out, even the most advanced fuel cell subs top out at around 2 weeks. A nuke boat’s size allows it to mount larger sonar arrays on the hull and to tow additional sonar arrays, giving it much more sensitive “ears” and allowing it to see before being seen. A nuke boat can carry a larger weapons load.

Sorry, the first word there should obviously be “Nuclear” as in “Nuclear is louder in absolute terms.” Kids, don’t post in a hurry.

Of course diesel is better than nuclear!! Haven’t you seen the documentary, “Down Periscope??”

Good post, didn’t know all that. Even still, doesn’t it make you uncomfortable when numerous submarines of european and asian countries have penetrated US carrier battlegroups? (pictures through the lens with the aircraft carrier in it’s aim). Or would you think the US navy was aware and was testing things/simulating things?

Nuke is louder than battery but quieter than diesel. Nukes are faster — lots more power available always. You can stay under till your food runs out. A nuke can cross the Pacific in a single shot. Nuke boats are not necessarily larger or more heavily built (see NR-1), so all your comments about survivability and depth capability are wrong. The size advantage is not due to nuke power but simply the amount of money to be spent on the boat. Some of the largest subs ever made were diesels. The size of the arrays will determine their low frequency limitations and thus their effective range, but the largest and lowest frequency system will be their tails and thinline arrays wind up on amazingly small reels.

All that said, virtually everytime modern diesels go up against modern nukes, the diesels win.

C.E. has repeatedly demonstrated he knows virtually nothing about military history and even less about modern defense issues, tactics and platforms. Why everyone continues to encourage his mindless blathering by replying to his comical rants mystifies me. Boredom? Like it says at the zoo, please don’t feed the animals.

In terms of largest diesel subs, are you thinking of the I-400’s of WW2 vintage?

Nah, He has the right to comment and does acknowledge when he doesn’t know something.

The vast majority of people know little about the Military outside of some rifles etc if they haven’t been in. Then many are branch or MOS specific. If someone wants to know things or increase their knowledge i say good for them. Me I have learned a lot from listening to the people who have been there done that for decades in many cases.

CE I can recommend some sights. One is Commander Salamander’s. Another is BlackFive. Lots of good people there lots of knowledge.

Good idea!

Having been involved with LCS and DDG 1000; the zumwalt is a far better design than LCS, built for a longer lifespan, and is far more capable. Capabilities that could be implemented on DDG 51’s. Although it may have a larger price tag, the zumwalt class is a far better investment.

defencetalk(dot)com– one of the best forums if not the best on the web for discussing defense issues around the globe.

I’m not trolling here– you guys should check it out. BAsically anything and everything you want to know about weapons systems, geopolitical issues and just plane (pun intended.… i know its not the correct word) military things.

You may be forgetting that our Boomers are or will be sitting quiet in any given contested area where they may be a conflict and can strike without warning. This is one of the advantages of Nuke subs. They can sit on the bottom running off of their systems much much longer than others. If something comes up that needs attention, they pop up, shoot, go back into hiding on the bottom using passive sonar to detect ANY threat that comes their way.

Its not always as simple as who has the quieter or faster boat, subs are designed to remain undetected and with proper anechoic coatings are much more stealthy than most realize.

I have read articles (cant look for them now) that say our newest subs with modern versions of these coatings are much quieter than older class diesel subs most other countries still have and use, even though they may have a first gen or second gen coating.
Even on the move… ill try to find links when i get a chance.

*anoechoic sorry for the typo

Can you provide instances (links) where diesels have beaten nukes please, I would like to read up on it.

Too expensive? No. F-35 is much more expensive . It’s simply not the tool USN need to deal with China . But DDG-1000 tech will be used in the next DDG-51 .

Battle space is one system and each weapon is a gear of that system . In war, enemy does something to disturb our system. To avoid we much have a flex system that can be changed easily. That’s the way to design LCS.

If the ship is design that way​.It if have all the capabilities of a ship and a submarine. It is possible.

It defends on the design. I think it is possible. Ever heard of WWII Japanese aircraft carrier submarine?

The individual from Europe misses the point compltely. It’s not about saving money, it’s about big companies
getting hugh contracts for worthless goods that don’t work, at hugh prices. Since when did common sense
come into the decision. In the U.S., it’s all about greed. Besides if we saved money on destroyers we would
“waste” it on things like medical care, feeding the poor or rebuilding the infrastructions of our contry.
Bill (Retired Chief with 30 years).

I think everyone is kind of failing to see the importance of big boats here. Its about coalition efforts and air defenses. If the US wants little missile boats to puke off the side of we’ll crank out a thousand of them. We have many allies with numerous smaller displacement navies and they have our back in the small boat department and they need our help to bring cohesion the armada. Sure western Europe makes a great frigate but we need the larger destroyers in our coalition fleets to keep wailing out the firepower when they fall short. I have studied the frigate fleet model extensively and concluded that regardless of technology the volume of world beating air defenses just cant be matched with a smaller boats, there isn’t enough weapons magazine.

Well friend the truth is that the US Navy’s procurement budget is less than 2% of the US’s federal budget. So we can afford it, we just have drama queens in our country that like to be entertained by the media. It is clear that you are not a European naval officer or you would understand things better. But that’s OK I’m not either, all that matters is that everything works out fine.

It certainly is possible, and it is probably even a good idea. I doubt this ship is designed for that as the ships superstructure is mostly composite. Plus, flat panels regardless of what they are made of, have a hard time resisting water pressure without bowing in. That’s why submarines have a cylindrical shape.

I think it will be difficult to convince US Congress to approve additional Zumwalts. sequestration and the law-preventing the over budget projects to continue. I like the idea of the ship, but US NAVY needs more justications to fight budget battle for the continuation of the ship. Maybe a new version of the ship as a dedicated missile cruiser verses as anti-surface destroyer.

It’s probable the Navy will opt for smaller nuclear medium and short-ranged subs, instead of just long-range submarines. It’s rather interesting that we have to use full-sized submarines for short-range delivery work, whereas during the Cold War we used smaller submarines like the Parche and Halibut (and perhaps NR-1 too, since its story hasn’t been fully told yet).

How is NR-1 relevant to a discussion of fast attack craft?

Only in that NR-1 was a small nuclear submarine, against the grain of the classic nukes-must-be-long-range-giants dogma.

NR-1 is still pretty cool though.

Size is def in the old cruiser range. However, these ships will not have Aegis and they dumped the S-Band radar so the X-Band radar will have to do double duty. There is no ABM software installed. There is no area defense software installed either. They are expected to perform local air defense only (though they will be excellent at it because of the X-Band SPY-3).


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