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April 26, 2018

Two delivered, one to go, in Navy's $24B Zumwalt program

Courtesy / U.S. Navy
Courtesy / U.S. Navy
The U.S. Navy has accepted delivery of the future USS Michael Monsoor from Bath Iron Works. It's the second Zumwalt-class destroyer in the three-ship $24 billion program to be delivered by the Bath shipyard that's owned by General Dynamics.

The U.S. Navy has accepted delivery of the future USS Michael Monsoor from Bath Iron Works. It's the second Zumwalt-class destroyer in the three-ship $24 billion program to be delivered by the Bath shipyard that's owned by General Dynamics.

The lead ship, Zumwalt, was delivered in May 2016.

According to a U.S. Navy news release, Tuesday's delivery followed extensive tests, trials and demonstrations of the ship's systems, including the boat handling, anchor and mooring systems as well as major demonstrations of the damage control, ballasting, navigation and communications systems.

The 610-foot ship features several design innovations that make it less visible to enemy radars.

Like the first ship of the class, USS Zumwalt, the future USS Monsoor employs an innovative and highly survivable integrated power system.

The Monsoor, which is named for Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, a Navy SEAL who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for bravery during Operation Iraqi Freedom, is traveling to its homeport in San Diego, Calif., for installation of its combat system prior to its commissioning in January 2019.

The third and final ship of the class, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, is in construction at BIW's shipyard along with Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Daniel Inouye, Carl M. Levin and John Basilone.

Zumwalt 'lessons' to roll into next ships

USNI News reported Wednesday that the three-ship Zumwalt-class program has been plagued with cost overruns and production and delivery delays that have driven its overall cost to $24 billion. Despite those problems, USNI News reported, the Navy sees opportunities to incorporate many of the Zumwalt class's technology advances into the design of future warships.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, testifying before the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, said capabilities like the propulsion system and low observability to radars inherent in the Zumwalt design would be key to the future surface combatant, USNI News reported

"A centerpiece of the strategy going forward, which is to garner as many of the lessons learned and roll those into the new ship as quickly as possible," Richardson said in response to Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. "I'll tell you, we are learning more lessons from Zumwalt every single day about the capability that ship brings. Whether it be power generation, the role of stealth, the volume that the ship brings, the capability of the ship to bring down very sensitive communications, et cetera …That's exactly the types of lessons that I would look forward to rolling into the next ship."

The Times Record reported that Collins at Tuesday's hearing also questioned top Navy officials about ensuring the Bath shipyard had a sustainable amount of work.

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