The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $192.7 million contract for post-delivery availability work on Zumwalt and Michael Mansoor, the first two of overall three stealth destroyers the navy will operate.
In addition to mission systems activation and post shakedown availabilities (PSA) of USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) and USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001), BAE Systems will also be responsible for the completion and installation of the combat systems.
The company was earlier involved in the development of the 155-mm Advanced Gun System (AGS) for the DDG 1000 destroyer. The AGS, with the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP), was supposed to support the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps expeditionary and joint operations warfighters in the littorals and deep inland.
According to a recent report by DefenseNews, however, the U.S. Navy has reportedly started looking for alternatives for the LRLAP as the shells for the gun turned out to be too expensive due to the declining number of destroyers that are to be built. According to the report, a single LRLAP round currently costs around $800,000.
USS Zumwalt, the lead ship in the class was commissioned in October this year while the other two ships are still under construction at Bath Iron Works.
At 610 feet long and 80.7 feet wide, Zumwalt ships are the largest destroyers the U.S. Navy has ever built. In addition to their size, the Zumwalt class will be the first Navy warships to utilize an integrated power system that will produce enough power to run current systems, as well as the power required for future weapons, computing, and sensor systems.
Zumwalt generates approximately 78 megawatts of power, almost as much as a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. This means the ship can operate all of its systems and still generate enough electricity to power a small town, which provides the extra capacity to accommodate future weapons and computing systems, like the electro-magnetic railgun the Navy is working on.