Work Continues on the Reduced DDG-1000 Program

by: Matthew Potter
October 11, 2010

Category: Business Line, Companies, Congress, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Events, Federal Budget Process, General Dynamics, Maine, missile defense, northrop grumman, Northrop Grumman Corp., production program, Restructuring, Services, States, U.S. Navy | RSS 2.0

Back at the turn of the century the U.S. Navy had major new ship programs underway to significantly modernize their fleet. These included a new aircraft carrier, CVX, a new cruiser, CGX, a new destroyer, DDG-21, and a small combatant, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). Since then due to budget constraints, technology difficulties and the effects of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan the program has seen major changes. The cruiser was cancelled and the new DDG has morphed into the DDG-1000 Zumwalt program with only three of the new ships planned. To make up for this the Navy has continued buying DDG-51 destroyers that originally went into service twenty years ago.

The Navy had originally split the program between Northrop Grumman (NOC) and General Dynamics (GD). The current plan is for all three to be built at GD’s Maine yard with support from Northrop. The construction of the first one is in process and it should be completed in the 2012-2013 time frame.

In support of this the company and Navy are awarding numerous sub-contracts for the ships. For example, FieldServer Technologies, part of Sierra Monitor Corporation, has received a contract to build, install and integrate an automated fire detection and suppression system. No value for the contract was given. Fire is a major threat to any ship and this advanced system will aid the smaller-by-design crew in fighting them.

The program has faced challenges controlling cost growth but now seems to be on a steady path. Unfortunately due to budget pressures and technical issues only three of the advanced ships will be purchased. Th future fleet will consist of DDG-51, the three Zumwalts and thirty of forty LCS until a new small combatant program can be started.

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