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Zumwalt operational testing to continue into fiscal year 2024, Pentagon reports

The USS Zumwalt will require additional testing into the coming fiscal year, the Pentagon reports. (General Dynamics Bath Iron Works)

The US Navy (USN) will be continuing testing on guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) into the coming fiscal year (FY), according to the Pentagon's Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E).

“Due to competing operational commitments and system readiness, initial operational testing will continue through at least FY [20]24,” the DOT&E noted in its Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 DOT&E Annual Report on major defence programmes, released on 19 January.

“Surface Warfare (SUW) operational testing is complete, but all other primary and secondary mission areas require additional testing,” the DOT&E reported.

“Cyber survivability testing is planned in FY [20]23 on USS Zumwalt,” the DOT&E said. “Strike Warfare operational testing is targeted in FY [20]23 and FY [20]24 on USS Michael Monsoor [DDG 1001]. The navy is developing an OASuW [offensive anti-surface warfare] operational test strategy for DOT&E approval in the next TEMP [Test and Evaluation Master Plan] revision.”

However, “the navy has not funded or planned an adequate ship survivability assessment against underwater threat weapons, to include a demonstration of residual mission capability after such engagements, through a full-ship shock trial. This assessment was not complete prior to initial deployment of USS Zumwalt in 4Q [fourth quarter] FY [20]22”, the DOT&E added.

The navy has not updated vulnerability and recoverability modelling and simulation (M&S) meant to support the live-fire test and evaluation (LFT&E) survivability assessment of the DDG 1000 class to reflect the ship as built, the DOT&E reported.

“Further, the navy does not intend to update, validate, or accredit LFT&E survivability assessments prior to completing their LFT&E programme in FY [20]23,” the DOT&E added.

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