The U.S. Navy will accept the lead ship of its Zumwalt destroyer program before the end of 2019 but testing will continueÂ to enhance the shipâs combat capability, USNI News reported Tuesday.
The USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) may undergo combat system testing through 2020, according toÂ DDG-1000 programÂ manager Capt. Kevin Smith.Â Smith said once testing is complete on Paul F. Foster, the Navy may move to USS Zumwalt to conduct live-fire capability demonstration.
The NavyÂ is testing the SM-2 system aboard the ex-Paul F. Foster (DD-964) ship, which previously conducted tracking exercises and test fires.Â The leadÂ ship is expected for final delivery in September.Â Zumwalt is already equipped with its combat system and isÂ being tested in Alaska, California and Hawaii.
Meanwhile, the second of the Zumwalt class ships, the USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001), entered its combat system installation period. Smith said the ship should be out of the yard and ready for testing by the end of the year. Construction of the new Navy ships take place at the yards of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine and BAE Systems in San Diego.Â