Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Bath, ME, United States (4E) – The U.S. Navy last week accepted delivery of the USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001), the second Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer designed as multi-mission stealth ships. This warship will be commissioned into the Navy within the year, and will serve in Asia.
Naval Sea Systems Command said the USS Michael Monsoor successfully completed extensive tests, trials and demonstrations by its shipbuilder, Bath Iron Works (BIW). Both the Navy and BIW “incorporated many lessons” from construction of the first-in-class USS Zumwalt, which joined the United States Pacific Fleet in 2016, said Capt. Kevin Smith, program manager from Program Executive Office Ships. Capt. Smith noted that both parties “are proud of the end result.”
Like the USS Zumwalt, the USS Michael Monsoor will be assigned to the Pacific Fleet after her commissioning into the Navy.
The Zumwalt-class was originally designed as multi-mission surface combatants tailored for advanced land attack and littoral dominance. Their main mission was to provide credible, independent forward presence and deterrence using their main guns, a pair of Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) 150 mm cannon. Stubborn problems with the ACS means the mission of the Zumwalt-class is now surface warfare.
USS Michael Monsoor is 180 meters in length; has a beam of 24.6 meters and displaces 15,000 tons. She can reach speeds in excess of 30 knots (56 km/h). This class features the distinctive tumblehome wave-piercing hull that dramatically reduces the warship’s radar cross-section.
The U.S. Navy announced in January 2017 that the USS Zumwalt will begin its first operational patrol in the Sea of Japan or the East Sea within the year. The Zumwalt is assigned to the United States Seventh Fleet, one of two fleets in the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) with headquarters in Hawaii.
Her two other sister ships will also be deployed to USPACOM. The other warships in the Zumwalt-class are the USS Michael Monsoor and the USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002).
When she joined the Seventh Fleet, the $7.5 billion USS Zumwalt met the promise made by former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in April 2016 that all the Zumwalts will be assigned to the Pacific as part of the rebalance of U.S. forces to the region to counter China and promote stability.
Carter said “all three of our newest class of stealth destroyers, the DDG-1000, will be homeported with the Pacific fleet, in addition to other new military equipment slated for the Pacific such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
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