The DD-21 class of ships is to be named after the
late USN Admiral Elmo Zumwalt
, who was chief of naval operations from 1970 to 1974.
The DD-21 land attack destroyer is one of the latest examples of American military R&D. This new class of
warship will use a system known as electric drive.
This term refers to a transmission system, not an
engine. This new system uses a single-source
generator to supply all of the ship's power. This design is
completely integrated with the ship's systems and
eliminates the drive shaft and reduction gears found
in traditional warships. This frees up large amounts
of internal space for other uses. Design teams claim
that they will use this room to give crew larger
quarters and recreational facilities. Automation of ship systems is promised to reduce crew requirements to 95,
or fewer. The DD-21 is intended to be a multi-purpose
destroyer, designed specifically for land-attack
warfare. Its primary mission will be to support
American ground forces as a sort
of sea-borne artillery. To do this job, the ship will be armed with two 155mm guns capable of firing 12 rounds per minute, with a range of 100 miles. These guns will be
auto-loading and will be capable of firing conventional ammunition, or guided, rocket assisted shells. The craft will also be equipped with a long range missilesystem.
This project's future is currently in doubt due to political disagreements and limited naval funding.