The guided-missile destroyer Zumwalt made a quick turnaround to its home port in San Diego last week, just a day after getting underway, stymied by an undisclosed maintenance issue.

“We expect the ship to resume its transit in the near future,” Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson, a spokesperson for the Naval Surface Force, said in a statement to Navy Times. The destroyer, commissioned in 2016, left port Thursday only to return Friday.

The Zumwalt was heading to its new home port of Pascagoula, Mississippi, where Abrahamson said it will get “technology upgrades” including 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,” the spokesman said, while refusing to reveal details of the technical snafu that turned it around.

“We don’t get into details about specific maintenance issues on our ships due to operational security,” he said.

USNI News first reported on the Zumalt’s maintenance issue and return to San Diego.

The Navy is shooting to field hypersonic weapons on the Zumwalt by 2025. Lockheed Martin announced in February that it would have a ship-based hypersonic missile launcher ready for flight tests in 2024. Lockheed is developing the launcher, the weapon control system and other pieces of the missile, while Ingalls Shipbuilding is updating the Zumwalt to accommodate the weapon system.

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.

The destroyer wrapped up 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.

Capt. Shea Thompson, commander of the Surface Development Squadron One that oversees Zumwalt-class concept development and fleet introduction work, told reporters last fall that these events included simulated maritime fires training with U.S. Air Force B-1 bombers and the 613th Air Operations Center in Hawaii.

Likewise, the ship completed air operations with U.S. Army units and development work for a new mine countermeasures concept with a forward-deployed explosive ordnance disposal unit.

“We made significant strides in learning how to employ, integrate and sustain DDG-1000 in the forward environment,” Thompson said.

The Zumwalt’s first deployment will likely occur during late calendar year 2026 or early 2027 and will operate under U.S. 7th Fleet and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command leadership.

Defense News Naval Warfare reporter Megan Eckstein contributed to this report.

In Other News
Load More