DDG 1000 Preps for Heavy Weather Trials

DDG 1000 Preps for Heavy Weather Trials

After first entering the water in October of last year, the Navy’s first DDG 1000 next-generation destroyer  is gearing up for additional tests and heavy weather trials, service officials said at the Surface Navy Association’s 2014 Symposium in Crystal City, Va.

The ship will be formally delivered to the Navy for testing later this year and is slated to reach what’s called initial operating capability by 2016, according to Navy officials.

The DDG 1000, or USS Zumwalt, is 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.

“Our next event is fuel on-load and there are tests related to that. Then there is a data center light off toward the end of the spring to early summer. Then we start bringing up the entire propulsion system in full so there are all sorts of propulsion events there, leading up to builders trials and acceptance trials,” said Capt. Jim Downey, DDG 1000 program manager.

The heavy weather trials will involve placing instrumentation on the ship and testing how it reacts to high winds, stormy seas and adverse weather conditions, Downey explained.

“It’s a brand new hull form. We’re tracking the certification of the hull form because it is a new design. This will involve lateral and vertical accelerations and pitch and roll,” he 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, Navy officials said.  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.

Undersea warfare anti-submarine technology is also part of the DDG 1000s’ technical configuration. It is equipped with an AN/SQQ-90 Integrated Undersea Warfare suite designed to help provide undersea detection and targeting capability, Navy officials 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 is 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.

Other technologies on the DDG 1000 include and Advanced Gun System which can fire rocket-powered precision projectiles as far as 63-nautical miles, Navy officials indicated.

The Advanced Gun System has performed very well in testing, consistently reaching a Circular Error Probable of 20-meters or less from distances up to 60-nautical miles, Downey said.

“We’re getting ready to buy hundreds of rounds,” he added.

The DDG 1000 warship is primarily designed for land attack and littoral or shallow-water coastal missions, among other things, he said.

Other upcoming efforts will include mission systems activation, a move which will integrate and finalize the electronics on the ship. Overall, the software for DDG 1000 is 90-percent complete, involving about 6-million lines of code, Downey said.

Testing will also examine the rotating X-band radar for the ship engineered to identify potential threats. The X-band radar has replaced a prior S-band radar on the ship, Downey explained.


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Navies traditionally take it too easy in the heavy weather testing phase and then later have rude surprises.

The British in the Falklands figured that their destroyers and frigates could handle the South Atlantic, since they had been designed and tested in the North Atlantic. That testing was learned to have been inadequate. Several of the vessels which the Royal Navy deployed turned out to ship far too much water over the bow.

As a result, when the Brits later had to deal with fast, aggressive Argentine air attacks, and when they were counting on their foredeck missile launchers to perform defensive action, those launchers repeatedly froze and failed from having had too many tons of cold salty sea repeatedly slam into them. An entire class, the Type 42s, had to have modified bows retrofitted after the war, after which this problem finally went away.

And those were ships with relatively conventional planform and bow shaping. The Zumwalts are going to be a whole different story. Most likely re-learning lessons about naval architecture that had to be learned the hard way the first time round but were then forgotten.

Stealth isn’t the only measure of merit in a vessel design. Seakeeping matters equally much. You have to wonder how many of the crew will re-enlist after riding out a Pacific typhoon in one of these contraptions.

I look at it this way — it’s a fire support ship, first and foremost. If the weather is such that LCACs and AAVs and V-22s and CH-53s can’t execute their missions, then it stands to reason that these ships won’t need to execute theirs either. So frozen-over VLS hatches and icy helo decks shouldn’t be a huge issue if there’s no amphibious forced entry to support. Now I was just a grunt, so I don’t really know what seakeeping entails, but if it’s anything like the barf-o-rama in the back of a C-130 doing a 20-minute low-level, then I certainly have no rebuttal or counter-argument there!

torque: Its “shape” is deceiving. There is heavy use of composites, screens, etc which give it a very non traditional look. You notice no masts, radar domes etc? all “covered up” as well as the hull & super-structure.
It will be interesting how its trials & PSA goes.….…

Well, the Gulf of Maine is one of those places on earth that can provide some pretty awful weather (the proverbial Nor’ Easter) to test in. Also, the BIW is has been the builder of superb quality military-grade warships for a very long time — hence — I think these guys know how to validate the bad-weather performance of something they built.

The DDG 1000 generates enough energy to heat the entire deck of this ship — and them some — to ensure the missile hatches don’t freeze shut (with a large surplus left over — though heating the deck to prevent freezing is mere speculation on my part).

Its not so much a matter of the Zumwalts accomplishing their mission as a matter of survival from the sea. Righting arm decreases with angle of inclination and the only fix is an extremely broad beam, making them extremely stiff. Lets see how those expensive weapon system perform on a ship with a 10 second rolling period from 35 degrees to 35 degrees.

What about the scenario where the landing force lands and then the high seas drives away the gunfire support ships. The Navy has never left the marines without support before, oh wait a minute, they have.

That was probably embarassing for a navy that used to control the planet’s waterways.

That said, they’ll have to put the Zumwalt in its paces. Do a round-the-world trip like the Triton?

If VLS is hot launch, wouldn’t that warm up the hatches enough for them to pop off before missile launch?

lets see how she handles in bad weather and as far as rolls, and the turns, and speed, I think looking at the ship it might be like a toy in a tub its gonna be rough going

Perhaps there’s a reason they scale the class back To three builds and then decides to design and build a few dozen more advanced arleigh burkes.

I wonder if the concept of this class was ever linked to the PRC inland DF-21d batteries?

2013– An another remarkable year in World Navy, Technology has gone peaks many changes has been made some innovative concepts came live in this year , game changing naval craft, UAS, weapons and other hardware came of age in 2013 as several exciting new technologies were either launched or achieved significant milestones.

The U.S. Navy has a good record of hull form model testing at the Carderock model shipbuilding basin. Also, the NAVSEA ship designers maintain the shipbuilding “lessons learned”, so I think there’s an extremely high probability this hull design will have excellent seakeeping capability.
Also, past ship classes were designed and then we tried to figure out how to cram all the warfare systems capabilities into the hull that we could. In this case, the next-generation warfare system was designed/integrated and then the platform was designed around/in support of it. I think sailors are going to get in line to want to serve/live in this ship.

Despite the “stealth” technology, it was considered vulnerable if operating in brown safer. At $3.5B, it is too expensive to risk doing the job for which it is intended, I.e. shore support.5

Despite the “stealth” technology, it was considered vulnerable if operating in brown safer. At $3.5B, it is too expensive to risk doing the job for which it is intended, I.e. shore support

I’m sure there will be a lot of speculation by naval enthousiasts who have much less experience than the planners builders and design teams who are implementing these ships as part of the countries protection againts all known threats. it’s amazing that the same people are always in front of the televison criticizing football players on how to win the game yet they sport a fat belly and a beer in their hand.

their are many reasons why naval ship planners and builders have designed ships the way they do. In part do to emerging threats from advanced radar detection and submarine warfare. there is no way around it stealth is here to stay.

also with every argument that people post there are probably 50 to 100 different people just in the design phases making necessary CAD adjustments to offer the best warfare package to any of the navies needs

the hatches on the VLS (atleast Mk-41 VLS) are heated, so you can open them in freezing weather, I’m sure the Mk-57 VLS on the Zumwalts will have the same heating built into them.

They really should continue to move forward with the CGN version of this design that has over 80 vertical launch tubes and 3 rail guns. 2 forward and 1 aft. Doubt it’ll ever happen though.

Having been on a DDG, rough as it was, I don’t see how turning a DDG without a bow into a submarine is going to go well.

Hope you’re right Frenchie.

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