Awesome Video: DDG-1000 Coming Together (updated)

Want to see something cool? Watch the video below. As a tipster wrote us, “Your pic of Zumwalt being built is nice, but I have better.” We couldn’t agree more. The video below shows one of the USS Zuwalt’s massive hull sections leaving the Ultra Hall at Bath Iron Works in Maine and being fitted to several other pieces of the hull. The video gives you a great sense of just how big the 600-foot long Zumwalt class destroyers are. Remember, they’ll be the largest big gun ships to serve in the Navy since the retirement of the Iowa class battleships in the 1990s. At 1,400 tons, this ultra unit of the hull is the largest hull section ever moved at the shipyard.  These are going to be really cool to see in operations.

Click through the jump to watch.

  • asdf
  • guess

    600′ long
    So 100′ longer than a Burke and roughly 250′ shorter than an Iowa

  • Andy

    Please build 50 more.

  • Howe

    Very cool video, I thought this got the axe years ago…

    What’s the price per ship?
    How many are being built?

  • Prodozul

    Any reason why the bridge looks the way it does?

    • Skyepapa

      The bridge is composite, stealthily low profile, and full to the gills with radar. Makes it look funny. I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out down the road that this thing can submerge itself. Its tumblehome design and compact bridge make it resemble a submarine.

      • Prodozul

        Thanks for the response. This is the first time I’m seeing it

      • EW3

        Have the same worry about the hull form.
        Served on a DE that did not have a hurricane bow and the sonar dome was angled slightly down so our bow used to find every swell over 5 feet and try to
        go under it. My bunk was right underneath the ASROC launcher and was always getting wet in any kind of heavy seas.

      • passingby

        quote: “I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out down the road that this thing can submerge itself.”

        LOL!!!!! … as in … sunk due to internal explosions / fires / other catastrophic technical failures? or enemy ASCMs / torpedoes …??

  • tiger

    Most ugly looking thing since the Monitor & CSS Virgina. Matches the bad camo uniforms….

    • JE McKellar

      I’m hoping they’ll doll her up in a nice blue-grey dazzle, so that if you squint your eyes she at least looks like a real ship. Maybe they can paint some fake gun turrets, make her look like one of the old Alaska-class battlecruisers from a distance.

    • passingby

      LOL, wait till it has sailed in the ocean for a few months. This thing is going to be a maintenance nightmare – a sea version of the F-22.

      • CTA1(SW)RET

        “This thing is going to be a maintenance nightmare – a sea version of the F-22.”

        Like the USS San Antonio, couldn’t even get underway because her engines were so screwed up at one point plus enough other major issues to make me think this thing was designed by “Murphy” of Murphy’s Law fame? I agree shipmate.

        Remember, Murphy was a sailor. ;)

        • passingby

          USS San Antonio was definitely a major embarrassment. I think the navy should invent at least 2 procedures: (1) de-christening a ship, and (2) re-christening a ship.

    • tiger

      Why the thumbs down?

      • passingby

        Is that a real question? You’ve been here long enough to know how the immature military fan boys vote around here.

        I gave you a thumbs up, by the way.

      • blight_

        It’s tumblehome. You’d think that voicing a relatively conservative position on ship design people would agree with you. Maybe it was the bad camo uniforms comment.

  • Tyler

    I don’t know where you got your tonnage number, but you’re a good ways off. That unit is about 4500 tons, not 1400. Yes it is the biggest move at BIW, just a little larger than you said.

    • moose

      I think he transposed one of the module numbers (Ultra 1400, the forward midbody) with the tonnage number.

      • Tyler

        Seems likely

  • Rob

    Too bad the ship like every-other Naval Project got caught in some kind budget busting situation. Even if the ships of the Class are actually sucessful, the won’t be able reactivate production because costs will likely jump. That problem, producing the series of ships will keep cost down, but when your starting out. Look out.

    • EW3

      If we can change administrations this coming November and return the Federal government to doing what it is supposed to do we might still be able to get a decent production run in of these.

  • Edgar

    You video isn’t coming threw but cool pic of the ship DD-1000 should be the surface navy’s priority over LCS its faster bigger and has more armaments on board.

    PS NO new carriers until a new Enterprise is made NO need for the accident prone President to be in front of the historic Enterprise name.

  • Roland

    DDG 1000 might cost too much for the country’s military budget. How about a frigate design that floats like a boat or ship and also swim below water deep like a sub for a long period of time?

    • Benjamin

      “DDG 1000 might cost too much” but “a frigate design that floats like a boat or ship and can also swim below water deep like a sub for a long period of time” will definitely cost more then an aircraft carrier.

  • Mastro

    “they’ll be the largest big gun ships to serve in the Navy since the retirement of the Iowa class battleships in the 1990s”

    Well- yeah- the Tico’s only have two puny 5 inchers and the Burke’s only have one.

    What we needed is something like a modern Newport News/Des Moines class. But I don’t think we even have the capability to make ships like those anymore.

  • Riceball

    It the Zums are going to be the largest surface combatants we have next to our carriers how come they’re destroyers and not cruisers? Makes you wonder how large our next gen cruiser will be, at the rate things are going the CGX will likely end up being nearly the size of an Iowa.

    • Rob

      Only problem with CGX is the Navy cancelled it because the cost overruns. Thats why they re-started Burke Class DDG production up. Unfortunately, the costs are higher due to Navy need add updates to the design.

      Rate were going, we’ll not have a actual successful new design for a large combat warship for next decade (if not more.)

      • blight_

        It’s cheaper to update the design before starting the next flight than to have an old design that has to be updated again at the yard anyways.

        • Pretty much, also, there’s the fact that nobody has quite figured what to use the Zumwalts for. And they cost $5 billion + each. And they make use of a vast amount of unproven technology. The class was cancelled at three ships. It’s a solution in search of a problem.

  • Tim

    I sure hope it has great defensive armament, because the thinness of that hull isn’t going to stop much of anything from getting through.

  • dan m

    I hope that no parts from China are being used to build this.

  • Waste of money.

    • J Hughes

      you must be talking about the LCS ships that are made from coke cans and will need to be replaced after 10 years of service.

      • blight_

        Assuming they even give ten good years.

  • Guest

    Pretty on land, but please do NOT go into North Atlantic or North Pacific in a bad storm.

    Even in their OWN models, NAVSEA knows full well these hulls will capsize with heavy quartering seas. They plan warnings displayed on the Pilot, color coded for the Capsize Alert Status ! Puleez…..

    Just use these three in calm waters and tied up for testing software. that’s all.

    Building #1000, Building #1001, and Building # 1002 at some NAVSTA.

  • bleh

    If the ships work they should design a slightly smaller version as a successor for the Burkes. Call it the Seawolf treatment.

    1 AGS, 80 cell VLS, 2 helicopter all-rounders.

    + some module space like on an LCS so that, while the ship is general purpose, it can be biased in one direction or the other.

    Then just build those ships for the next 50 years. Award build contracts for 5 ship blocks that are identical with (really) minor changes between those small blocks and bigger updates every 20 ships.

    If you look at where the LCS is going the USN would have been better off if it had just bought more Burkes instead and I believe that trend’s going to continue. The US military is unable to procure stuff cheap, small and on time, not to mention in sufficient numbers.

    So the solution is to minimize the number of different designs and to only do gradual upgrades. Remember how 20 years ago every new software was basically a rewrite of its predecessor? Nowadays that’s unfeasible as software’s just gotten too complicated and Google Chrome 18 is mostly Google Chrome 17 to minimize risk and complexity.

  • PolicyWonk

    With the incredible price tag, many believe the navy will be reluctant to use these ships in a real shootin’ war. And as far as being big gunned – these pea-shooters might have the range – but nowhere near the clout of an Iowa. And the MIC LOVES missiles – very expensive – while shells are CHEAP.

    A cool looking ship for sure…

    • Mark

      I am sure these ships will get rail guns at some point.

    • I’ve made the exact same argument many times PolicyWonk.

  • J Hughes

    The propeller shaft openings are at slightly different heights…. interesting

  • Dick Lancaster

    I don’t know much about the hull design but the composite superstructure with its integrated electronics will be a huge problem. The navy assumes nothing will be able to get within 300 miles of this ship without detection. That may be true but it’s irrelevent. Recently Iranian gunboats circled our ships in the Persian Gulf. Obviously they were detected but they were close enough to attack. The political decision not to blow them out of the water may foretell the DDG 1000’s future. One RPG from a rubber boat fired into the composite superstructure will, at best, disrupt the electronics in a major way and at worse, start a fire that may prove to be untenable. What I saw in the Gulfport, MS facility was frightening. Yes, I made those concerns available to the proper authorities based on my 35 years of composite experience. I now work at a gunshop for $10.00 per hour. I’m fortunate not to be working in the prison laundry for .26 per hour.

    • Ronaldo

      Look, be sensible….and RPG can take out any similar structure or system that you have referenced. And, since they are used with some success on armored vehicles…they would certainly work well against the hull.

      Sheesh !

  • oldmtnbkr

    Based on my USCG experience bobbing around in the North Atlantic on a weather ship back in the day, I wonder about the sea-keeping ability of a ram bow, even on a fairly large ship. Does it really help its stealth capability that much?
    I share Dick Lancaster’s concerns about the superstructure. Did they do any battle damage experiments when designing this thing? The aluminum superstructure-on-steel hull of the Hamilton class 378s had lots of cracking issues–and the damn thing still rolled unmercifully in heavy seas!

    • J Hughes

      i have seen video and pics of them testing both a large and small scale model of the DDG-1000 in waves, explosions, etc.

  • TonyC

    The superstructure will most likely have kevlar armored panels, but not the strength of steel I would think. The ship looks awkward and has a top heavy appearance.
    This one ought to be fun to watch at sea trials!!!

  • FZ6

    The DDG-1000 program is a fraud. It exists to keep major contractors employed and to allow Congress to bring pork to their districts. Naval gunfire to support amphibious assault went out last century. The only thing stealthy about this ship is the lack of intelligent oversight. It is an inherently unstable ship that will be easily destroyed by patrol boats if it ever tries to perform its mission. The Navy wasted tens of billions on this fiasco (in addition to the 3-5 billion per ship).

  • william roberts

    cool video but it was better in person……….lol to bad they did not have the deck house on yet in that video