USS Zumwalt ready for final trip before commissioning

U.S. Navy’s biggest destroyer to date, USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), is ready to depart Naval Station Norfolk October 7 and complete a one-day transit to Baltimore, Md., where it will be commissioned into active service on October 15.

This means that the sailors and engineers have carried out repairs to the ship’s engineering plant where a seawater leak in a propulsion motor drive lube oil auxiliary system was found on September 19, during sea trials.

Zumwalt was originally scheduled to depart Norfolk on October 9 but, with the approach of Hurricane Matthew, the Navy decided to move up the ship’s departure and complete preparations for the commissioning ceremony in Baltimore.

The lead ship of a class of next-generation multi-mission destroyers, Zumwalt is the Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced surface ship. Measuring 610 feet in length and 80.7 in width, Zumwalt is larger than the current Arleigh Burke-class destroyers which are 505 ft long and 66 ft wide.

Zumwalt is 100 feet longer and 13 feet wider, and its flight deck is 93 percent larger than that of an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The construction of the ship began in February 2009 at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard. Four years later, the destroyer was launched in October 2013 and then christened in April 2014.

Initially, 32 Zumwalt destroyers were supposed to be built. Over the years the number, however, declined to three vessels.