The first two electric Zumwalt-class destroyers for the U.S. Navy have been delayed partly because of a shortage of electricians. According to Bloomberg News, General Dynamics' work on the vessels has fallen behind "because of the complexity of the first-ever all-electric ship and the particular demand it has created for skilled electricians shipyard-wide,” said commander Thurraya Kent, a Navy spokeswoman. They encountered production issues “completing installation, integration and testing of this highly unique, leading-edge technology.”
The Navy and General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works unit now estimates that the first of three destroyers will be delivered this November, more than a year after the original planned delivery date. The initial ship, designated DDG-1000 and named after the late Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, won’t be declared ready for initial combat until September 2018, about two years later than previously planned, Bloomberg reported.
The Zumwalt destroyer is designed as a multimission land-attack vessel that will use electricity generated by gas turbines to power all of its systems, including weapons.