Warship Designed for Sailors from the Keel up
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Warship Designed for Sailors from the Keel up


Warship Designed for Sailors from the Keel up

The team of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and Lockheed Martin, referred to as the Blue Team, announced some interesting specifics about its design of the Navy’s DD-21 land attack destroyer. Their version of DD-21 will contain many key innovations and will lead to the "Navy after next." Integrated electric drive will enhance survivability and increase design flexibility for all future combatants, dramatically changing how sailors live, work and fight at sea.

DD-21 will be for a ship with a complement of about 95 – a reduction of more than 70 percent compared to current surface combatants. Operations and support costs for the ship will be reduced by 42 percent. It was said that this multi-mission ship would attain littoral maritime dominance and bring unprecedented land attack capability to the surface Navy by combining great survivability with unparalleled joint force connectivity. DD-21 also has a dramatically reduced signature with its tumblehome hull and integrated topside design. The ship will defeat any air threat. With its reduced acoustic signature and exceptional maneuverability, the Blue Team’s proposed DD-21 can defeat the mine threat – a key to being able to survive, fight and win in the littorals.

Sailors will live in staterooms with a maximum of three people per stateroom with privacy built into the design. Modern recreational and exercise facilities are complemented by an innovative food service. Food service is achieved with a dramatic reduction in personnel. Using advanced technologies and a food service complex designed for efficiency, a seven-person team (instead of the 80 or so on conventional ships) requires no augmentation by temporary personnel. A ship-to-shore electronic interface provides on-line maintenance, administrative and medical support. It also supports a video teleconferencing capability with family, as well as Internet and on-line education.

The key to DD-21 survivability is a damage-tolerant design. Examples include zonal distribution and redundancy, which will ensure that power will be maintained, and that the loss of no single space will cripple the ship. In the event of damage, the first response is through the Ship Systems Automation (SSA) which provides for extensive internal situational awareness to detect and react to a damage event and begin the recovery process. SSA detects, isolates and contains damage much more effectively than conventional approaches. Automation is augmented by Rapid Response Teams who will have the equipment and skills to handle any event. They will use sensors, wireless communication, wearable computers/mini-cams and personal location devices to gain and maintain total situational awareness, guided by a Readiness Control Officer in the Mission Control Center.


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