The guided-missile destroyer Zumwalt, which arrived at its new home port in Pascagoula, Mississippi, this month, is being outfitted with a hypersonic missile system by American shipbuilder HII.
The Zumwalt, which had returned to San Diego for an undisclosed maintenance system issue after departing for Mississippi, arrived in Pascagoula Aug. 19. The ship is now going through modernization, including installation of the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike hypersonic missile system.
“The upgrades will ensure Zumwalt remains one of the most technologically advanced and lethal ships in the U.S. Navy,” Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson, a spokesperson for the Naval Surface Force, told Navy Times in a statement earlier this month.
The service aims to field hypersonic weapons on the Zumwalt by 2025, and Lockheed Martin announced in February it was preparing a ship-based hypersonic missile launcher for flight tests in 2024. Lockheed is developing the launcher, the weapon control system and other pieces of the missile.
Meanwhile, the Army, which has worked with the Navy to develop the missile, is set to field the weapon system by the end of this year.
On Tuesday, the Navy awarded HII a $154.8 million contract modification to update the Zumwalt, after previously awarding the shipbuilder a $10.5 million planning period contract in January for the modernization of the Zumwalt and the guided-missile destroyer Michael Monsoor.
The Monsoor will receive the Conventional Prompt Strike hypersonic missile system “during a future modernization period,” HII said in a news release.
“It is an honor to serve the sailors of Zumwalt and to welcome them to our community,” Ingalls Shipbuilding DDG 1000 ship construction manager Bruce Knowles said in a news release. “The Ingalls team is ready to support you in completing this important work.”
The Zumwalt concluded three months of operations in the Western Pacific last fall, where it conducted a series of joint and bilateral operations as part of its first operational employment.
The Zumwalt’s first full deployment is expected during late calendar year 2026 or early 2027, when it will operate under U.S. 7th Fleet and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command leadership.