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DDG-1000 Zumwalt class 

(updated February 2009 and April 2012)

Zumwalt class DDG

(United States)







USS Zumwalt


(January 2014)

(December 2014)



USS Michael Monsoor


(August 2014)

(July 2015)



US Lyndon B. Johnson






(23 other hulls)






Notes: Designated “DD-21” and “DD(X)” at various points, this planned destroyer class is designed to replace the Spruance and Kidd classes; now all retired. A radical departure from all hulls since WWI, the Zumwalt features a “tumble-home” wave-piercing hull that sits low in the water and features a minimum of angles or projections. The USN accepts that the weather deck will often be awash. The hull is designed to have as little pitch & roll in rough seas, to defeat doppler radars. The USN claims it has the signature of a small fishing trawler. The class is named after Adm. Elmo Zumwalt Jr, former Chief of Naval Operations. The hull numbers skip three digits after the last Spruance class, USS Hayler (DDG-997). It is anticipated they will have a Blue/Gold crew cycle, similar to SSBNs.

The armament is based on two AGS (Advanced Gun Systems) and a large number of missile cells placed around the ship; as opposed to traditional VLS’s; to minimize the effect of battle damage. (The AGS has since had it’s AA and AP shells cancelled, rendering it a shore-bombardment weapon only.) Two 40mm guns were also originally envisioned, but have not been mentioned recently and may have been dropped. There are no torpedo tubes, the first for a USN destroyer since the 1910’s.

The propulsion was originally based on four generators and a seawater-cooled GE Rimjet PMM (permanent magnet motor) propulsion, which basically resembles a fan orbited by a ring electromagnet. This provides better reliability and quieter operation than traditional propellers or pod waterjets. This engine is currently operational on the Seajet, a 133’, 120t displacement radio-controlled drone operated at Bayview Naval Facility, ID (see below). Much auxiliary equipment (pumps, actuators, etc) are electric as opposed to hydraulic or pneumatic.

However in 2008 the USN announced that the PMM was now judged insufficient and typical Converteam DC electric motors were ordered for USS Zumwalt instead. The PMMs may still be used aboard USS Michael Monsoor.

Because of the high electrical capacity, much has been made in the civilian press regarding lasers, particle-beams, or rail guns; but to date the USN has not indicated that it is working on these programs for the Zumwalts or that they are even envisioned.

On 15 February 2008, Congress officially ordered the first two: USS Zumwalt originally scheduled to launch in June 2013, and USS Michael Monsoor in July 2014. On 23 July 2008, the USN cancelled the rest of the class. The reason given was cost; at $2.65 billion each they were just too expensive. There was no comment on what would replace them on the production line, it is widely assumed that a "Flight IV" series Arleigh Burke class DDG will be built instead.


The largest objection is the cost. Originally estimated at $1.2 billion each; it eventually rose to $2.65 billion in 2007. A 2008 effort to reduce this only trimmed $48,000,000 off each hull (and was for naught anyways, as by mid-2012 the per-ship cost had exploded to over $5 billion, and with inflation it's estimated that USS Lyndon B. Johnson will end up costing more than $7 billion). An initial planned buy of 22-26 was trimmed to 7 which would have meant there would not have been enough to have even one assigned to each of the CVNs the class is intended to escort. (Additionally, assuming a regular maintenance cycle, only 3 or 4 would be available for operations at any given time!) Due to general disgust with the project, this was further reduced to only the two already ordered (see above), but in 2012 a third ship was re-added.

The USN originally planned a “bid-off” between Bath Iron Works and Northrop-Grumman Ingalls, however the loser would surely be bankrupted so in 2006 the “one-yard” policy was put on hold. This would have presented a problem as the cost did not permit building more than one at a time, meaning Congress would have to pay one yard millions to do nothing each year.

The low manpower might present it’s own problems as there will seemingly be a dangerously low number of off-watch sailors available for damage control and upkeep. UNREPs would be very difficult; for example it would take the whole crew the better part of a day to UNREP the 155mm guns’ ammo.

Other criticisms include the use of aluminum throughout, and the seeming neglect of area AAW. The USN counters that CVN air wings will provide air support; but this leads to the optimistic assumption that the carriers will always survive for the destroyers and the destroyers for the carriers.

Production status

In January 2009, the USN halted work on USS Zumwalt due to Congressional criticism; namely that the costs had spiraled so far out of control that nobody even knew anymore was the ship would cost. Also, of the twelve "critical technology items" identified by the USN, only four were fully-developed. Production was restarted in November 2011. As of 2012, there is early word of problems with the superstructure design, and a flaw in the automated damage control system.

As of March 2012, the superstructure and basic hull shape of USS Zumwalt are complete, and the USN stated that construction had passed the 50% point. Some internal systems, such as the gun magazine, are already being fitted. In 2010, long-lead items for USS Michael Monsoor were being procured and construction started in late 2011. USS Lyndon B. Johnson was ordered in April 2012.

Displacement: 14,264t full Dimensions: 600’x79’1”x27’6” Machinery: COGAGE: 2 General Electric LM-2500 and 2 LM-500 gas turbines, IPS 78mW electric drive w/1General Electric Rimjet propulsor (see notes) Max speed: 30.5kts Range: 4500NM (hoped to be increased to 6000NM) Complement: 150


x1 MH-60R Seahawk or x3 RQ-8 Fire Scout UAV


x80 Mk57 VLS cells for RIM-162 ESSM, BGM-109 Tomahawk, RUM-139 VL-Asroc, or future missile systems


x2 155mm AGS guns


AN/SPY-3 multifunction phased array

Unspecified other radars


NWCS fire support datalink

Unspecified EW suite

Unspecified EO/IR system


AN/SQQ-90 hull suite (combined AN/SQS-60 active/passive and AN/SQS-61 active hull arrays) (still in development, details unknown)

AN/WLD-1 minehunting UUV (possible)


Entry created by: Jason W. Henson
Contributors: Jason W. Henson

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