On Monday morning, the first-in-class Zumwalt-class destroyer left its pier at General Dynamics Bath Iron Work, headed down Maine’s Kennebec River bound for the Atlantic Ocean and its first taste of saltwater.
The 16,000-ton Zumwalt (DDG-1000) departed the yard for its first set of open ocean trials — years after the ship began construction in 2008 and after several production delays.
The trials follows a four day “fast cruise” in October in which the ship did everything from rolling the shafts, bringing up and down systems, testing failure modes, testing watch station effectiveness,” Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (RDA) told Defense News last month.
“We did everything that we could next to the pier prior to getting underway.”
Zumwalt is the first of three planned ships in the $22.1 billion program that promises a next generation propulsion system that has enough energy to power future sensors and weapon systems.
However, delays in production for the ships at BIW have pushed back delivery schedules for other ships in the yard.