Pic of the Day: DDG-1000’s Keel Laying

Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy this picture of General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works (BIW) laying the keel of the USS Zumwalt, DDG-1000, recenlty in Bath, Maine. The Zumwalt class is the Navy’s first new class of destroyer in a generation and is a pretty revolutionary change in the design of large U.S. surface combatants.

Now, the picture above doesn’t show a traditional keel-laying. It shows the 4,000-ton, “heavily outfitted mid-forebody section of the ship,” being moved from BIW’s Ultra Hall construction facility onto the shipbuilding ways on Oct. 22.

BIW officially celebrated the keel-laying yesterday, according to a press release describing the ships as:

U.S. Navy’s next-generation, guided-missile naval destroyer, leading the way for a new generation of advanced multi-mission surface combat ships. The ships will feature a low radar profile, an integrated power system and a total ship computing environment infrastructure. Armed with an array of weapons, the Zumwalt-class destroyers will provide offensive, distributed and precision fires in support of forces ashore.

One of the coolest things about the Zumwalt class ships — that feature the crazy wave-piercine tumblehome hull design that went out of style on U.S. Navy ships around the turn of the 20th Century — is the fact that they are going to be equipped with the biggest Navy’s biggest guns since the Iowa-class battleships were retired.

As DT previously wrote:

The 155-mm Advanced Gun System (AGS), which will be the largest shipboard gun in the fleet. Each DDG 1000 will have two of these weapons, developed by BAE Systems, which will fire Lockheed Martin’s Long-Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP). That “bullet” has a range goal of 83 nautical miles and a rate of fire of ten rounds-per-minute.


	
  • OddNameGenerator

    Holy shit, I thought this thing was cancelled.

  • Will

    The LRLAP weights 225 lb (per Wiki - inc. propellant?) vs the 70 lb of a 5 in/127 mm naval gun shell. An ordinary 155 mm artillery piece shell weighs 100 lb. The LRLAP is precision guided, so it is best compared to the M982 Excalibur round ($80K).
    1 of the other innovations of the Zumwalt class is that the missiles are scattered about in cells of 4 rather than concentrated in 2 big VLS.
    PGS will likely be too big to fit in missile containers designed for Standard missiles. SSGN are better suited for that mission.

    • blight

      For perspective, Wikipedia’s M107 vs M26 rocket vs LRLAP mashup

      Weight: as you posted, ~44kg vs 306 kg vs 102 kg
      Length, as Wiki: ~60cm vs 3.94m vs ~223 cm
      Payload, as wiki: ~7 kg vs (M31 uses a 90kg unitary warhead) vs ~11kg
      MRLS range is given as 32-45km, ~>20 for tube artillery and ~190km for the LRLAP.

      These things would almost seem to put rocket artillery out of business, at least individual unit per unit.

  • chaos0xomega

    I don’t think PGS is ever going to be fitted to an ocean going vessel, but thats besides the point. Have they finalized the number of ships to be laid down? Last I heard it was 3, I don’t think thats going to cut it once we start retiring the Arleigh-Burke’s.

  • Nick

    Bring on the rail guns!

  • Skyepapa

    The rail gun is cancelled.
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/06/power-dow…

    • moose

      No it’s not. The budget was zeroes out in one early draft months ago.

    • Jeff Wheeler

      I have a friend who works on site. They are still testing. He calls me every time they shoot the thing so I can hear it…….he never makes it on time. :)

  • darkshadows71

    “with the biggest Navy’s biggest guns”…. anyone wonder why no proofreading is ever done on this site? Don’t get me wrong, I love this site and enjoy visiting it daily, but I’m absolutely stunned at how many typos appear daily… lol
    It only takes a minute or two to proofread for errors guys….

  • Tom

    I hope she doesn’t have a vacuum ran sewer system.

  • Jazzism

    Integrated power system is a little concerning to me. An onboard accident or even a well placed shot can render it ditw would it not while older non integrated systems can maintain operations.

    Otherwise bringing in a guns to replace the Iowa’s is awesome. The Iowa is such a beautiful ship and the remarkable guns are stuff of legend, Too bad they keep preventing her from going out and do her job. It’ll be a sad day if the Iowa becomes a reef or chopped up.

    • ben

      That’s not what integrated power means…
      It isn’t one single circuit, that can be broken at any point.

      Rather it means that the ship is like the power grid in your house, where every appliance plugs into the wall. And like your house, it the main power source is cut off, you can plug in a backup generator.

      Older systems have specific generators powering specific systems.

  • morris wise

    Mother Russia and the Chinese Dragon are prepared and well fed. It would be suicidal to drop thousands of paratroopers on Moscow or Beijing; they would disappear into the night. Military strength has become symbolic, future wars will be won by economic strength not by swat teams.

  • Stephen N Russell

    Test guns on std DD FF types alone.
    Be awesome or some Aegis class cruiser.

    • ew-3

      Actually your idea has a lot of merit.

      We don’t need to spend billions to find out if the guns survive a cruise of the north atlantic in winter.

      I served on a DE(FF) which did not have a real hurricane bow.
      The tummblehome hull is deigned to do what the DE I was on did. It plows into swells. You get to find out how waterproof a ship is not.

      I slept below the ASROC launcher and if heavy seas my rack was soaked with sea water.

  • bendejo

    I have said it before, yet my comments went into the aether, why not license the 2A36 Giatsint-B, it’s 40 year old tech people…it is not that hard. The U.S. Navy is wasting money on engineering that for the most part has already been done and for the most part better in the past. The 6.1″ AGS is a sawed off 155 field gun, that quite frankly under performs the 2A36, the engineering for the LRLAP will quite easily tolerate losing 3mm of diameter. (and looking at the propaganda photo, it appears to be fin stabilized, so I don’t care about the spin imposed by the barrel.)

    I am waiting for this tube to wind up replacing the AK-130 and show how foolish U.S. Navy procurement is.

  • Max

    It has to be better than the two 5 inch popguns on the rest of the fleet. What a sick joke those guns are. When I was on the Virginia (CGN-38) in the early ’80s, they could only fire a few rounds before they broke down and couldn’t shoot anymore. Thankfully, we never got involved in a real shooting war at sea, otherwise we would have been toast if we had to depend on them.

  • Frank Shuler

    Back in September, 2011, the US Navy finally resolved the contracts for the building of the second and third DDG-1000 Destroyers. The contract delay was due to Congress appropriating a third DDG-1000 class destroyer that the Navy had not requested and instructing the Pentagon to renegotiate the purchase of the already “awarded” second ship, DDG-1001 with the third in the hopes of driving down the cost of these immensely expensive warships.

    Frank Shuler
    USA

  • Max

    I still think they should bring back one or two of the Iowa battlewagons. With air superiority, and submarine protection, those 16 inchers just can’t be beat. The intimidation value alone is worth it. Back in the ’80s, when one of those beasts came near a coastline of an enemy, they were justly frightened of getting hammered by those volkswagon-weight rounds.

  • William C.

    Hopefully these ships will prove once and for all how feasible or unfeasible this hull form is for real world military operations.

  • wpnexp

    There is an electric ship demonstrator with the tumblehome design already operating in a lake in Idaho along with the Cuttthroat (a Virginia class SSN design).

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