Although the DDG 1000 Zumwalt will be designed to be efficient and cost-effective, its up-front construction costs, estimated at $3 billion per ship, will be significant. Such a hefty price tag has raised some eyebrows and caused some controversy. The U.S. House of Representatives has been skeptical about the program from the outset and, indeed, congressional concerns over the budget contributed to the decision to suspend the DD 21 program in 2001. Certain technologies have also been scaled back to cut costs. For example, the Integrated Power System was originally based on permanent magnet synchronous motors. But to keep the project on schedule and budget, the design was shifted to advanced induction motors, an older technology.
Despite these issues, the 2007 appropriations bill passed on September 26, 2006, by the House and later by the Senate allotted funds to build the first two Zumwalt-class destroyers. One is being built in Pascagoula, Mississippi, home of Northrop Grumman's Ingalls shipyard. The other is being built by General Dynamics in Bath, Maine.
The ships should be delivered in 2012, but how many will follow remains uncertain. Much depends on how well the Zumwalt class destroyer performs in real-world combat situations. If it lives up to its promise, it could become one of the most successful ships in U.S. Navy history.
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