Last Updated: 01/10/2014*
Towering over the shipyard in Bath, Maine, the angular lines of the Zumwalt guided missile destroyer draw double-takes from travelers along the nearby Leeman Highway.
But its distinctive hull and wedge-shaped deckhouse aren’t the only revolutionary things about the world’s smartest ship. Below its deck are some of the most advanced systems in the Navy.
"This new destroyer combines numerous advanced technologies into a complete warfighting system,” U.S. Navy Capt. Jim Downey said. “These capabilities shift the advantage to our sailors and the Navy fleet."
The DDG 1000 takes to the water in Bath, Maine. (General Dynamics Photo/US Navy) - Click for larger image
The ship is designated DDG 1000 and is the first in the three-vessel Zumwalt class.
The destroyer carries technologies that will benefit the Navy for years to come, most notably its Total Ship Computing Environment – a single, secure network that controls everything from radars to weapons.
Other innovations include:
- Adaptable Launcher – a weapon system that combats any threat by modifying its canisters and controls to fire missiles of varying sizes.
- Ship Mission Center – a high-tech command center featuring state-of-the art consoles and communications equipment.
- Cooperative Engagement Capability – a networked “system-of-systems” providing situational awareness to the DDG 1000 crew.
- Electronic Modular Enclosures – a shipbuilding innovation that packages hundreds of computing cabinets into one pre-assembled, ready-to-install unit. (There are 16 EMEs on each ship.)
The open-architecture design of the destroyer’s computer systems and the ship’s reconfigurable, all-electric integrated power system make upgrades easier as technologies and threats evolve. Raytheon is the Zumwalt program’s prime equipment integrator for all combat and electronic systems.
“We are committed to the ongoing development and delivery of these highly capable and effective mission systems that will, without a doubt, make DDG 1000 the most advanced surface combatant in the world,” said Kevin Peppe, vice president of Raytheon’s Seapower business area.
The technologies promise to transform the day-to-day operations of the Navy, much as the ship’s namesake, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, did during his 32-year career.
As the youngest Chief of Naval Operations in U.S. history, Zumwalt reformed U.S. Navy personnel policies during the 1970s in an effort to improve enlisted life for sailors.
The Total Ship Computing Environment is a single, secure network that controls everything from the ship's radars to weapons. - Click for larger image
The DDG 1000 destroyer is designed with the sailor in mind. The vessel is easier to operate because of its automation, requiring fewer crew members – a benefit that lowers operating costs and provides the crew with larger living quarters.
The ship’s technology also better protects sailors serving on board the destroyer. The ship’s sleek, stealthy lines disguise the DDG 1000 on enemy radars as a small fishing boat.
The Zumwalt-class destroyers also incorporate Raytheon’s Integrated Undersea Warfare sonar, a suite of sensors designed for anti-submarine warfare and torpedo defense.
"The Raytheon team is proud to be a part of this world-class partnership, bringing this ship and its transformational technologies to life," Raytheon program manager Tom Moore said.
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