The U.S. Navy commissioned its futuristic Zumwalt-class destroyer, the USS Michael Monsoor, with traditional ceremonies that included a 19-gun salute in late January.
The public ceremonies in Coronado stand in contrast to more private business activities across the bay in a Barrio Logan shipyard, or in offices where engineers fine-tune ships’ software.
BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair, on the waterfront where Sampson Street crosses Belt Street, has a contract to do post-construction work on the two Zumwalt-class destroyers in the harbor. Initially valued at $10.3 million when awarded in late 2016, the deal could swell to a maximum value of $193 million through 2021. As part of the indefinite-quantity deal, BAE will install combat systems.
The Monsoor is the second of three Zumwalt-class destroyers, which are designed to be stealthy. On radar, the 610-foot, 15,700-ton ships reportedly have the profile of a fishing vessel.
A different branch of BAE Systems, the Weapons Systems business, has the contract for the ship’s 155mm (6.2-inch) guns. There is no official word on what the guns might shoot. The U.S. Naval Institute, a publisher not affiliated with the government, reported in January that the Navy is still thinking about the matter. An original plan to use custom, rocket-assisted rounds was shelved after the cost of those rounds rose to nearly $1 million apiece.
A Zumwalt destroyer also includes Mark 57 vertical launch systems for surface-to-air missiles and cruise missiles — a capability it shares with the more conventional Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.
BAE Systems is based in the United Kingdom.
Raytheon Co. provides electronic and combat systems for the Zumwalt destroyers, including the Total Ship Computing Environment. In 6 million lines of code, it provides all shipboard computing applications, including the combat management system; C4I (that’s command, control, communications, computers and intelligence) elements; ship and machinery control systems; damage control; and support system. Needless to say, the system is encrypted.
The Navy sends millions of dollars to Raytheon in San Diego to improve the Zumwalt ships’ software. When it awarded a nine-month contract in fall 2017, $6.8 million worth of the work was slated to be done locally. More recently, $20 million of a nine-month software contract awarded in December was designated to flow to San Diego. Part of the latter is R&D funding.
The lead ship of the class, the USS Zumwalt, is also based in San Diego.
Michael Monsoor was a U.S. Navy SEAL who died in combat in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006. Monsoor received the Medal of Honor posthumously.