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US Navy destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) has moved one step closer to Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) integration with the removal of one of its Advanced Gun System (AGS) on May 7th.The addition of the hypersonic CPS missiles to USS Zumwalt will provide unparalleled capabilities for firepower and range.

The guided missile destroyer arrived at HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi in August 2023 for a homeport change ahead of its planned Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA). USS Zumwalt entered a floating drydock at Ingalls Shipbuilding around November 28th as seen on Sentinel-2 satellite imagery. Naval News also found that USS Zumwalt entered HII’s Integration Area between November 28th and December 13th, which marked the beginning of its refit to carry hypersonic missiles.

Several months after the ship arrived at Ingalls Shipbuilding, a photo published on the official Facebook page of USS Zumwalt shows the first 155mm AGS being removed from the ship. Satellite imagery taken May 9th showed one AGS missing from the Zumwalt, a clear change from previous weeks showing no visible work

 The Zumwalt-class Advanced Payload Module is expected to take up one or both of the 155mm AGS currently installed on all three ships in the class.

Program Executive Officer (PEO), Ships Rear Admiral Tom Anderson emphasized the urgency of CPS integration onto the DDG-1000 platform during a tour of USS Zumwalt in Pascagoula during a tour of the USS Zumwalt in drydock in April: “The Navy / Industry team is moving with a sense of urgency to integrate CPS capability into USS Zumwalt. Many steps have been taken and are on track to get this important player on the field on time.”

The removal of the first AGS from the USS Zumwalt represents a step forward in the evolution of the Zumwalt-class destroyer program which was once built around the AGS concept that provided ship-to-shore precision firepower with the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP).

The original contract for CPS integration was awarded to Lockheed Martin in February 2023. The initial contract was valued at $1.1B, with modifications that could bring the overall contract value to $2B over the entire Zumwalt-class if the US Navy chooses to execute on that portion of the contract.

Following Lockheed Martin’s integration work, Huntington Ingalls Industries was awarded a $154.8M contract for the modernization of USS Zumwalt in August 2023, following an earlier $10.3M contract for modernization planning for the two-year period. The same month, USS Zumwalt arrived in Pascagoula, Mississippi to begin modernization work.

When complete, USS Zumwalt will have four Multiple All-Up Round Canisters (MACs) carrying three CPS missiles each, adding to a total of twelve hypersonic boost-glide missiles. The aft AGS will be removed at a later date but it is not known at this time what will be put in its place.

A second Zumwalt subsystems contract for CPS integration has already been awarded to General Dynamics Bath Iron Works for the procurement of Large Missile Vertical Launch Systems – Ship Set Two. This contract was awarded as a firm fixed-price modification to the previously awarded contract for DDG-1000’s Large Missile Vertical Launch Systems. Work on this set of VLS systems is expected to be complete by June 2025—when DDG-1001 USS Michael Monsoor is expected to enter Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA) for its modernization and refit to receive CPS launch canisters.

Author: Carter Johnston     Graphic courtesy of H.I. Sutton.


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