Zumwalt Class Destroyer

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Zumwalt Class Destroyer

The Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is a planned class of United States Navy destroyers, designed as multi-mission ships with a focus on land attack. The class is a scaled-back project that emerged after funding cuts to the larger DD-21 vessel program. The program was previously known as the "DD(X)". The class is multi-role and designed for surface warfare, anti-aircraft, and naval fire support. They take the place of battleships in filling the former congressional mandate for naval fire support, though the requirement was reduced to allow them to fill this role. The vessels' appearance has been compared to that of the historic ironclad warship.

The class is planned to feature a low radar profile; an integrated power system, which can send electricity to the electric drive motors or weapons, which may some day include a railgun or free-electron lasers; total ship computing environment infrastructure, serving as the ship's primary LAN and as the hardware-independent platform for all of the ship's software ensembles; automated fire-fighting systems and automated piping rupture isolation. The class is designed to require a smaller crew and be less expensive to operate than comparable warships. It will have a wave-piercing tumblehome hull form whose sides slope inward above the waterline. This will reduce the radar cross-section, returning much less energy than a more hard-angled hull form. As of January 2009, the GAO found that only four out of 12 of the critical technologies were mature.

The lead ship will be named Zumwalt for Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, and carries the hull number DDG-1000. Originally 32 ships were planned, with the $9.6 billion research and development costs spread across the class, but as the quantity was reduced to 10, then 3, the cost-per-ship increased dramatically. The cost increase caused the US Navy to identify the program as being in breach of the Nunn–McCurdy Amendment on 1 February 2010.

Read more about Zumwalt Class Destroyer:  Names and Hull Numbers, Controversy, In Popular Culture

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