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Awesome Video: DDG-1000 Coming Together (updated)

by John Reed on April 5, 2012

Want to see something cool? Watch the video below. As a tipster wrote us, “Your pic of Zumwalt being built is nice, but I have better.” We couldn’t agree more. The video below shows one of the USS Zuwalt’s massive hull sections leaving the Ultra Hall at Bath Iron Works in Maine and being fitted to several other pieces of the hull. The video gives you a great sense of just how big the 600-foot long Zumwalt class destroyers are. Remember, they’ll be the largest big gun ships to serve in the Navy since the retirement of the Iowa class battleships in the 1990s. At 1,400 tons, this ultra unit of the hull is the largest hull section ever moved at the shipyard.  These are going to be really cool to see in operations.

Click through the jump to watch.

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

asdf April 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm
Pat April 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm

thank u!!!!

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parsnips April 6, 2012 at 9:35 am

Thanks.

OMG, that was the second largest forklift I've ever seen!!!!!!

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guess April 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm

600′ long
So 100′ longer than a Burke and roughly 250′ shorter than an Iowa

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moose April 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm

And yet, on radar it will look about the size of a Bayliner.

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Andy April 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Please build 50 more.

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Pat April 5, 2012 at 8:28 pm

and make 5 more videos of it!!! lol

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tiger April 7, 2012 at 2:21 am

You picking up the check?

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Andy April 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I rather see my tax money go to defense than Foreign aid.

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passingby April 7, 2012 at 10:00 am

quote: "Please build 50 more."

Please stay single, and pay 50 times the taxes due come April 15.

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Andy April 7, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Do you known we spend BILLION in foreign aid?

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passingby April 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm

NO. It's not foreign aid. just because the government says so doesn't make it so. Money and/or arms to foreign rebels to sabotage legit foreign governments, yes. Bank loans (from IMF and the World Bank) designed to bankrupt foreign governments and extract natural resources, yes. Handing out billions to dubious governments (e.g. Israel) as a result of open political campaign donations and secret business deals/rewards, yes.

Genuine foreign aid? No.

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Kellyj April 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm

We would get a better bang for our dollar with 50 more Burkes rather than this White Elephant…and dump Little Cr@ppy Ship (LCS) too.

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Liam April 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm

hah i agree those will be beautiful and deadly. and shit think if we could get that so called rail gun as the main turrets on those, holy cow. god bless America

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Howe April 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Very cool video, I thought this got the axe years ago…

What's the price per ship?
How many are being built?

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Andy April 5, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Contracts to begin primary construction of the second and third DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers for the U.S. Navy were awarded Sept. 15, the service announced.

Work on long-lead items for both ships – the Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and yet-to-be-named DDG 1002 – already has begun at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, but the most recent awards allow primary fabrication to be carried out.

The $1.8 billion contract is valued at more than $2 billion should all options be exercised, the Navy said.

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Howe April 6, 2012 at 1:06 am

So…2 billion for 3 of these ships…is that correct?

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tiger April 6, 2012 at 1:15 am

Closer to $4 Billion per ship.

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passingby April 6, 2012 at 3:11 am

about half the cost of an aircraft carrier!!! LOL. thumbs up for the US military-industrial complex. they won a big one … against the US govt and taxpayers.

Prodozul April 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Any reason why the bridge looks the way it does?

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Skyepapa April 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm

The bridge is composite, stealthily low profile, and full to the gills with radar. Makes it look funny. I wouldn't be surprised if we find out down the road that this thing can submerge itself. Its tumblehome design and compact bridge make it resemble a submarine.

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Prodozul April 5, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Thanks for the response. This is the first time I'm seeing it

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EW3 April 5, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Have the same worry about the hull form.
Served on a DE that did not have a hurricane bow and the sonar dome was angled slightly down so our bow used to find every swell over 5 feet and try to
go under it. My bunk was right underneath the ASROC launcher and was always getting wet in any kind of heavy seas.

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passingby April 6, 2012 at 4:58 am

quote: "I wouldn't be surprised if we find out down the road that this thing can submerge itself."

LOL!!!!! … as in … sunk due to internal explosions / fires / other catastrophic technical failures? or enemy ASCMs / torpedoes …??

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tiger April 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Most ugly looking thing since the Monitor & CSS Virgina. Matches the bad camo uniforms….

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JE McKellar April 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm

I'm hoping they'll doll her up in a nice blue-grey dazzle, so that if you squint your eyes she at least looks like a real ship. Maybe they can paint some fake gun turrets, make her look like one of the old Alaska-class battlecruisers from a distance.

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passingby April 6, 2012 at 2:32 am

LOL, wait till it has sailed in the ocean for a few months. This thing is going to be a maintenance nightmare – a sea version of the F-22.

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CTA1(SW)RET April 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm

"This thing is going to be a maintenance nightmare – a sea version of the F-22."

Like the USS San Antonio, couldn't even get underway because her engines were so screwed up at one point plus enough other major issues to make me think this thing was designed by "Murphy" of Murphy's Law fame? I agree shipmate.

Remember, Murphy was a sailor. ;)

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passingby April 7, 2012 at 10:39 am

USS San Antonio was definitely a major embarrassment. I think the navy should invent at least 2 procedures: (1) de-christening a ship, and (2) re-christening a ship.

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tiger April 7, 2012 at 2:22 am

Why the thumbs down?

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passingby April 7, 2012 at 9:57 am

Is that a real question? You've been here long enough to know how the immature military fan boys vote around here.

I gave you a thumbs up, by the way.

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blight_ April 7, 2012 at 11:00 am

It's tumblehome. You'd think that voicing a relatively conservative position on ship design people would agree with you. Maybe it was the bad camo uniforms comment.

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Tyler April 5, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I don't know where you got your tonnage number, but you're a good ways off. That unit is about 4500 tons, not 1400. Yes it is the biggest move at BIW, just a little larger than you said.

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moose April 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I think he transposed one of the module numbers (Ultra 1400, the forward midbody) with the tonnage number.

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Tyler April 5, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Seems likely

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Rob April 5, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Too bad the ship like every-other Naval Project got caught in some kind budget busting situation. Even if the ships of the Class are actually sucessful, the won't be able reactivate production because costs will likely jump. That problem, producing the series of ships will keep cost down, but when your starting out. Look out.

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EW3 April 5, 2012 at 10:43 pm

If we can change administrations this coming November and return the Federal government to doing what it is supposed to do we might still be able to get a decent production run in of these.

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Edgar April 6, 2012 at 12:23 am

You video isn't coming threw but cool pic of the ship DD-1000 should be the surface navy's priority over LCS its faster bigger and has more armaments on board.

PS NO new carriers until a new Enterprise is made NO need for the accident prone President to be in front of the historic Enterprise name.

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Roland April 6, 2012 at 3:55 am

DDG 1000 might cost too much for the country's military budget. How about a frigate design that floats like a boat or ship and also swim below water deep like a sub for a long period of time?

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Benjamin April 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm

"DDG 1000 might cost too much" but "a frigate design that floats like a boat or ship and can also swim below water deep like a sub for a long period of time" will definitely cost more then an aircraft carrier.

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Mastro April 6, 2012 at 10:26 am

"they’ll be the largest big gun ships to serve in the Navy since the retirement of the Iowa class battleships in the 1990s"

Well- yeah- the Tico's only have two puny 5 inchers and the Burke's only have one.

What we needed is something like a modern Newport News/Des Moines class. But I don't think we even have the capability to make ships like those anymore.

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Riceball April 6, 2012 at 10:52 am

It the Zums are going to be the largest surface combatants we have next to our carriers how come they're destroyers and not cruisers? Makes you wonder how large our next gen cruiser will be, at the rate things are going the CGX will likely end up being nearly the size of an Iowa.

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Rob April 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Only problem with CGX is the Navy cancelled it because the cost overruns. Thats why they re-started Burke Class DDG production up. Unfortunately, the costs are higher due to Navy need add updates to the design.

Rate were going, we'll not have a actual successful new design for a large combat warship for next decade (if not more.)

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blight_ April 7, 2012 at 11:01 am

It's cheaper to update the design before starting the next flight than to have an old design that has to be updated again at the yard anyways.

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Graham Strouse May 29, 2012 at 3:36 am

Pretty much, also, there's the fact that nobody has quite figured what to use the Zumwalts for. And they cost $5 billion + each. And they make use of a vast amount of unproven technology. The class was cancelled at three ships. It's a solution in search of a problem.

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Tim April 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I sure hope it has great defensive armament, because the thinness of that hull isn't going to stop much of anything from getting through.

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dan m April 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I hope that no parts from China are being used to build this.

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Brian Black April 7, 2012 at 12:17 am

Waste of money.

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J Hughes April 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm

you must be talking about the LCS ships that are made from coke cans and will need to be replaced after 10 years of service.

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blight_ April 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Assuming they even give ten good years.

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Guest April 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

Pretty on land, but please do NOT go into North Atlantic or North Pacific in a bad storm.

Even in their OWN models, NAVSEA knows full well these hulls will capsize with heavy quartering seas. They plan warnings displayed on the Pilot, color coded for the Capsize Alert Status ! Puleez…..

Just use these three in calm waters and tied up for testing software. that's all.

Building #1000, Building #1001, and Building # 1002 at some NAVSTA.

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bleh April 7, 2012 at 11:37 am

If the ships work they should design a slightly smaller version as a successor for the Burkes. Call it the Seawolf treatment.

1 AGS, 80 cell VLS, 2 helicopter all-rounders.

+ some module space like on an LCS so that, while the ship is general purpose, it can be biased in one direction or the other.

Then just build those ships for the next 50 years. Award build contracts for 5 ship blocks that are identical with (really) minor changes between those small blocks and bigger updates every 20 ships.

If you look at where the LCS is going the USN would have been better off if it had just bought more Burkes instead and I believe that trend’s going to continue. The US military is unable to procure stuff cheap, small and on time, not to mention in sufficient numbers.

So the solution is to minimize the number of different designs and to only do gradual upgrades. Remember how 20 years ago every new software was basically a rewrite of its predecessor? Nowadays that’s unfeasible as software’s just gotten too complicated and Google Chrome 18 is mostly Google Chrome 17 to minimize risk and complexity.

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Graham Strouse May 29, 2012 at 3:38 am

The software issue is a very real one. Military procurement procedures are so lengthy that by the time a new project is completed it has less computing power then the newest iBook.

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PolicyWonk April 7, 2012 at 11:58 am

With the incredible price tag, many believe the navy will be reluctant to use these ships in a real shootin' war. And as far as being big gunned – these pea-shooters might have the range – but nowhere near the clout of an Iowa. And the MIC LOVES missiles – very expensive – while shells are CHEAP.

A cool looking ship for sure…

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Mark April 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I am sure these ships will get rail guns at some point.

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Graham Strouse May 29, 2012 at 3:39 am

I've made the exact same argument many times PolicyWonk.

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J Hughes April 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

The propeller shaft openings are at slightly different heights…. interesting

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guest April 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm

The engine rooms are on different deck levels. That forces an offset in the shaft angle geometry, which is what causes the height difference you are seeing in the hole locations.

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Dick Lancaster April 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

I don't know much about the hull design but the composite superstructure with its integrated electronics will be a huge problem. The navy assumes nothing will be able to get within 300 miles of this ship without detection. That may be true but it's irrelevent. Recently Iranian gunboats circled our ships in the Persian Gulf. Obviously they were detected but they were close enough to attack. The political decision not to blow them out of the water may foretell the DDG 1000's future. One RPG from a rubber boat fired into the composite superstructure will, at best, disrupt the electronics in a major way and at worse, start a fire that may prove to be untenable. What I saw in the Gulfport, MS facility was frightening. Yes, I made those concerns available to the proper authorities based on my 35 years of composite experience. I now work at a gunshop for $10.00 per hour. I'm fortunate not to be working in the prison laundry for .26 per hour.

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Ronaldo April 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Look, be sensible….and RPG can take out any similar structure or system that you have referenced. And, since they are used with some success on armored vehicles…they would certainly work well against the hull.

Sheesh !

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Graham Strouse May 29, 2012 at 3:44 am

Modern surface warships are less survivable in the littorals then WWII cruisers and BBs. It's that whole lack-of-armor thing….

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oldmtnbkr April 9, 2012 at 12:16 am

Based on my USCG experience bobbing around in the North Atlantic on a weather ship back in the day, I wonder about the sea-keeping ability of a ram bow, even on a fairly large ship. Does it really help its stealth capability that much?
I share Dick Lancaster's concerns about the superstructure. Did they do any battle damage experiments when designing this thing? The aluminum superstructure-on-steel hull of the Hamilton class 378s had lots of cracking issues–and the damn thing still rolled unmercifully in heavy seas!

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J Hughes April 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm

i have seen video and pics of them testing both a large and small scale model of the DDG-1000 in waves, explosions, etc.

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TonyC April 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm

The superstructure will most likely have kevlar armored panels, but not the strength of steel I would think. The ship looks awkward and has a top heavy appearance.
This one ought to be fun to watch at sea trials!!!

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FZ6 April 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

The DDG-1000 program is a fraud. It exists to keep major contractors employed and to allow Congress to bring pork to their districts. Naval gunfire to support amphibious assault went out last century. The only thing stealthy about this ship is the lack of intelligent oversight. It is an inherently unstable ship that will be easily destroyed by patrol boats if it ever tries to perform its mission. The Navy wasted tens of billions on this fiasco (in addition to the 3-5 billion per ship).

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william roberts August 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm

cool video but it was better in person……….lol to bad they did not have the deck house on yet in that video

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casio ネームランド November 8, 2013 at 4:25 am
moose April 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Where do you think Andrei got the idea?

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tiger April 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Agreed for once…..

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Bill April 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I think passingby just likes to say "military-industrial complex"… its in every single post of his – yes, it is a fancy string of words, but every country has a "military-industrial complex" so to judge that the US has an evil one is a very poor one – look at other countries around the world, their citizens starve, have dirty water, and work without pay yet their gov't spends a disproportionate amount on military equipment.

Blue water Navy is important passingby, otherwise everything the country exports is up for grabs in international waters if we can't defend our trade routes.

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Mastro April 11, 2012 at 10:06 am

Another mess- oh well- with three being made at least ONE will be available for fire support at any given time.

It would be nice to be able to do these things without going $20 billion in the hole to a Chinese bank.

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passingby April 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm

false.

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andy April 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Pakistan 8.1 billions

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Graham Strouse May 29, 2012 at 3:31 am

Ummm, Israel invented Iron Dome. And most of that military aid is used to buy US hardware.

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GoNAVY July 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm

all, there is no capsize issue…simply bullcrap. the price tag of the first is approx $3B and the 3rd is approx $2B due to the efficiency at BIW and the other companies. The previous cost postings were due to previous CNO approach on DDG51 which has a price tag that is going through the roof! This is the largest destroyer ever built by the USN, can carry every ship launched missile conceived, and is finally getting some press due to leadership changes. 51's moved forward due to CNO/Congressional sellouts to keep the gulf coast afloat.

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