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A ship designed around the sailor

The DDG 1000 destroyers are sophisticated ships with smart support for sailors

The hyper-sophisticated DDG-1000 guided missile destroyer Zumwalt (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Adm. Elmo Zumwalt Jr. is something of a legend in the U.S. Navy . The youngest-ever chief of naval operations, Zumwalt dedicated much of his career to improving sailors’ lives and opening opportunities for female and minority service members.

These days, Zumwalt’s name lives on in a three-ship DDG 1000 class of guided missile destroyers — some of the most sophisticated military vessels in the world. The first of these ships will be commissioned the USS Zumwalt .

As the prime mission systems equipment integrator for the ships’ electronic and combat systems, we’re proud to help continue Admiral Zumwalt’s legacy with technology that supports sailors like

Network secure

One of the most dramatic advancements in the Zumwalt-class destroyers is Raytheon’s secure network that controls everything on board, from radar and weapons systems to lights and machinery. It’s called the Total Ship Computing Environment, and it comprises more than 6 million lines of software code.

“The TSCE integrates data from sensors all over the ship, processes that incredibly large amount of information, consolidates it for given mission areas, and presents it in a unified way,” says Wade Knudson, Raytheon’s DDG 1000 program manager. Sailors use touchscreens to access integrated data anywhere, anytime across the ship. “And for the first time, the commanding officer is presented with full situational awareness in a single picture.”

But it’s more than the network itself that is innovative. It’s also the way the technology is packaged.

Modular efficiency

The Zumwalt ships’ amazing technology comes packaged in ready-to-install containers — picture railroad cars — known as electronic modular enclosures. Inside each 18-ton EME are more than 235 cabinets filled with vital electronic equipment. A Zumwalt-class ship carries 16 EMEs.

Because the EME container is rugged enough to withstand the ship environment, says Knudson, “We can use off-the-shelf commercial equipment inside and deliver the EMEs fully populated and tested — ready to install on the ship.” Standard equipment makes for simpler, less expensive upgrades as well.

Crew cut

With the increased automation and efficiency provided by the TSCE, the DDG 1000 can be fully staffed with just 158 personnel. That’s less than half the crew size of the destroyer USS Arleigh Burke, which is nearly 20 percent smaller. This will allow each sailor aboard the DDG 1000 to have more living space in addition to offering a world-class computing environment. 

No wonder the DDG 1000 is being called the world’s smartest ship. Like its namesake, this ship may be destined for legendary status.

Last Updated: 08/10/2016

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