Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Like The 787, The DDG Zumwalt Has Teething Problems

The DDG 1000 stalls "the works" or as insiders call it,  "Teething woes". Sounds familiar to Boeing's own transition from 20th century to 21st century technology, as it had processed with the 787 project. The 787 "Teething Woes" were a headline feature from 2007-2013. A five year maturation process before customers exhaled. The Zumwalt is now welcomed into the BIW fold of "Teething Woes" and Boeing's exclusive club.  

BIW Lauches its first DDG-1000 destroyer April 12, 2014.

While Bath Iron Works remains tasked with some 20th century Burke class Destroyers, or the DDG51's and above group, it is also bogged down with the Zumwalt class destroyer as pictured. A whole new evolution of technology is stuffed on-board the Zumwalt. This dock side appearance represents thousands of resources expended on its existence. The BIW was awarded the bid for many more, then it was cut by the Navy, down to three of its types, as costs rose on the project. BIW was hooked and landed by the Navy. DOD made a pivot towards the 1990's Arleigh Burke Class destroyer, back filling its ranks and sustaining the Navy's fleet renewal program.

Since BIW immense resources are tied to a changed Zumwalt program, which was recently dead-ended, it finds itself losing out to competitors from Mississippi during the Zumwalt gridlock. The Navy is a fickle mistress with flighty aspirations.

BIW thought all along, it was the premier ship builder worthy of the Zumwalt assignment. The too pricey project was served by Congressional slights in a down size resolution. The Mississippi ship builders gleefully picks up where BIW stalled with the Navy's closure on the Zumwalt three.


"Our shipbuilders are very excited about beginning the fabrication process of another DDG 51 destroyer, especially one named after the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy," said George Nungesser, Ingalls' DDG 51 program manager. "Serial production provides the most effective and efficient way to build ships, and this is our fourth ship started in three years." 

Ima Black reacts after starting a plasma cutter machine at Ingalls Shipbuilding, officially beginning construction of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), which is named in honor of her late husband. Photo by Andrew Young/Huntington Ingalls Industries.