The first of three new destroyers for the U.S. Navy won’t be delivered with full combat capability until the first quarter of next year, another slip in a $23 billion program that’s now running six years late.
The previously undisclosed delay for the first ship, the $7.8 billion USS Zumwalt, was confirmed by Colleen O’Rourke, a Navy spokeswoman, via email. It was supposed to hit the milestone of having full combat capability last month, which already was more than five years later than originally scheduled and 10 years after construction began.
“While combat system testing has made significant progress, Zumwalt continues to work through first-in-class integration and shipboard test challenges,” O’Rourke said in the statement.
The additional delay in final delivery of the destroyer, designated the DDG-1000, may increase doubts the Navy can build, outfit and deliver vessels on time and within cost targets. The service is seeking public and congressional support for plans to reach a 355-ship fleet by 2034, up from 290 today. That’s a 20-year acceleration over last year’s timeline to reach the goal. (end of excerpt)
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