Zumwalt leaves BIW, heads for home port in San Diego

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The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Navy:

(BATH, Maine) — The Navy's newest and most technologically advanced surface ship, future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), departed Bath Iron Works on Wednesday, marking the beginning of a three-month journey to its new home port in San Diego.

Crewed by 147 sailors, Zumwalt is the lead ship of a class of next-generation multimission destroyers designed to strengthen naval power. They are capable of performing critical maritime missions and enhance the Navy's ability to provide deterrence, power projection and sea control.

Named for Adm. Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt Jr., former chief of naval operations (CNO) from 1970 to 1974, the Zumwalt class features a state-of-the-art electric propulsion system, a wave-piercing tumblehome hull, stealth design and the latest warfighting technology and weaponry available.

"As the DDG 1000 sails into open water, Zumwalt is once again on active service in the U.S. Navy," said Capt. James A. Kirk, Zumwalt's commanding officer.

DDG 1000 will be the first U.S. Navy combatant surface ship to utilize an integrated power system (IPS) to provide electric power for propulsion and ship services. The IPS generates approximately 78 megawatts of power, nearly what a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier generates, to meet the total ship electric power requirements and provide extra capacity to accommodate future weapons and computing systems.

"With 78 megawatts of power generation capacity readily available, DDG 1000 enters the fleet bringing with it a new era of power generation, conversion and propulsion to the U.S. Navy," said Kirk.

In preparation for Zumwalt's departure from Bath, the crew recently completed an engineering light off assessment and crew certification to ensure the ship's readiness to join the surface fleet.

"The 147 sailors of Zumwalt (DDG 1000) have completed the training and certifications required of them in record time. They have demonstrated superb technical expertise, teamwork and toughness over the last three months," said Kirk.

In addition to its advanced weapon and propulsion systems, Zumwalt is much larger than today's destroyers. At 610 feet long and 80.7 feet wide, Zumwalt is 100 feet longer and 13 feet wider and its flight deck is 93 percent larger than an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

Stealthy, powerful and lethal, Zumwalt integration into the fleet will provide a vital link from the Navy's current needs to its future capabilities.

USS Zumwalt will be formally commissioned during Fleet Week Maryland in Baltimore on Oct. 15.

Following the commissioning ceremony Zumwalt will begin its transit to San Diego, making several port visits en route. Upon arrival in San Diego, it is scheduled to take part in a post delivery availability and mission systems activation and is expected to be integrated into the fleet in 2018 following test and evaluation.

"We take a great deal of pride in our namesake, Adm. Zumwalt, and are committed to honoring him through our service," said Kirk.

A veteran of World War II and the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, Zumwalt exemplified honor, courage and commitment during 32 years of dedicated naval service, earning a Bronze Star with Valor for his actions during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

During his time as CNO, Zumwalt embraced technological innovation and advocated a number of successful programs including the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine and the F-14 Tomcat, all of which yielded long-term benefits to the warfighting readiness of the Navy. His legacy is proudly carried on today by the new class of destroyers that bear his name.

By Professional Mariner Staff