Zumwalt launches first missile, Navy says

By Aidan Quigley / October 20, 2020 at 11:18 AM

The Navy successfully launched a missile for the first time last week from a Zumwalt-class destroyer, the service announced Monday.

The Zumwalt (DDG-1000) completed the first live-fire test of the MK 57 Vertical Launching System with a Standard Missile (SM-2) on Oct. 13 at Point Mugu Naval Air Station in California.

During the test, the ship successfully detected, tracked and engaged an anti-ship cruise missile target with an SM-2, the Navy said in a press release.

"The structural test fire assessed the material readiness of the ship against shock and vibration of the weapon firing, as well as measure any hazards or degradations as a result of firing live ordnance," the Navy said.

Capt. Matt Schroeder, the DDG-1000 program manager, is quoted in the release saying the successful test was a "significant step" toward more advanced combat systems testing and operations for the ship.

"The USS Zumwalt crew and Surface Development Squadron One are working hand-in-hand with the acquisition community to advance this ship’s operational capability," he said.

The Navy took delivery of the ship in April, and the program is working toward attaining initial operational capability in 2021.