The window of opportunity for constructing the advanced DDG-1000 guided missile destroyer, formerly the DD(X), will remain open for a few more months. And, in addition to carrying out current missions and tasks, the ship could be the critical path to the most cost-effective development of the proposed next-generation ballistic missile defense ship, now designated CG(X).
The Navy awarded contracts for the first two ships of the DDG-1000 or Zumwalt class on 14 February 2008. The ships—to be completed in 2014—will be built by Northrop Grumman at Pascagoula, Mississippi, and by General Dynamics/Bath Iron Works in Maine. They will have a full-load displacement of almost 15,000 tons and an overall length of 600 feet—the dimensions of a cruiser by all reasonable standards. Armed with two 155-mm rapid-fire guns for shore bombardment; Standard, Tomahawk, and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles; and a large manned- and unmanned-helicopter facility, the DDG-1000s will be highly capable, multi-purpose warships.