US Navy sets sights on massive upgrade program for Zumwalt-class destroyers

The US Navy has issued a request for information (RFI) to the industry focused on delivering upgrades on the Zumwalt-class destroyers.

US Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is conducting market research to assess opportunities to improve the supportability and interoperability of the Zumwalt-cass destroyers by replacing Zumwalt-unique components and systems with analogous systems, which are common with other U.S. Navy surface combatants. This concept is referred to as the Zumwalt Enterprise Upgrade Solution (ZEUS).

Potential elements being considered in the upgrade include, but are not limited to, are: combat system computer program, common displays, CEC, SEWIP, IFF, SQQ-89 and MK 41 VLS (internal electronics).

According to the notice, the navy expects that the changes to the ship’s topside design will be minimal.

The RFI was issued on 17 November with responses due until 16 December.

To remind, the US Navy accepted the delivery of the lead ship in the class, USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) in April 2020.

The ship was built by shipbuilder General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems was the prime contractor for the Zumwalt Combat System, and has lead activation and integration for Zumwalt class ships both in Bath, Maine and San Diego.

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USS Zumwalt departed Guam on 19 September to continue operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The destroyer is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the US 7th fleet’s principal surface force.