The Navy accepted delivery of the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) destroyers on April 24.

DDG-1000 is the lead ship of three multi-mission surface combatant destroyers. The delivery marks a milestone in the dual delivery approach to the Zumwalt-class vessels. It previously reached the first delivery stage, Hull Mechanical & Electrical (HM&E), from shipbuilder General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works in May 2016.

The USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) at the start of its journey from Bath, Maine to its homeport of San Diego. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

After HM&E in Bath, Maine, the ships start combat system activation, testing and trials after arriving in the homeport of San Diego.

Since HM&E was completed, Raytheon Technologies [RTX] is the prime contractor for the Zumwalt Combat System and has been leading activation and integration for Zumwalt-class ships in San Diego and Bath.

After the delivery, the ship will next transition from Combat Systems Activation to the next phase of developmental and integrated at-sea testing.

With the delivery, DDG-1000 now officially joins the U.S. Pacific Fleet battle force, but will remain assigned to Surface Development Squadron One, the Navy said.

The Zumwalt is slated to operate as a “key enabler in the acceleration of new warfighting capabilities and rapid development and validation of operational tactics, techniques, and procedures” beyond continuing at-sea testing of its combat system, the Navy said in a statement.

Capt. Andrew Carlson, the commanding officer of USS Zumwalt, noted DDG-1000 sailed over 9,000 miles and 100 days at sea in 2019.

“Every day the ship is at sea, the officers and crew learn more about her capability, and can immediately inform the continued development of tactics, techniques, and procedures to not only integrate Zumwalt into the fleet, but to advance the Navy’s understanding of operations with a stealth destroyer,” he said in a statement.

After 2019 activities, “we are absolutely looking forward to more aggressive at-sea testing and validation of the combat systems leading to achievement of initial operational capability,” Carlson added.

The Zumwalt’s sister ship, the USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) is homeported in San Diego as well and is undergoing combat system activation. The final ship in the class, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) is currently under construction at Bath Iron Works

The future USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. (Photo: U.S. Navy)
The future USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) Arleigh Burke-class destroyer conducting builders trials in February 2020. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Separately, the Navy also accepted delivery of DDG-119 from shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII], the 68th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the builder to the Navy. The ship was built at HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.

The Delbert D. Black previously completed acceptance trials in March when it underwent demonstrations for the Navy’s Board of inspection and Survey while at sea in the Gulf of Mexico (Defense Daily, March 17).

The ship was built with the Aegis Baseline 9 combat system that includes upgraded integrated air and missile defense capabilities to better detect and react to air and missile defense threats via increased computing power and radar upgrades.

“Ingalls has delivered another highly capable platform that will sail from our shores and help protect the nation for decades to come,” Capt. Seth Miller, DDG-51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships, said in a statement.

HII’s Pascagoula shipyard is currently in production on the future destroyers Frank E. Peterson Jr. (DDG-121), Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123), and the Flight III ships Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) and Ted Stevens (DDG-128).