The delivery of the US Navy's General Dynamics-built first Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) guided missile destroyer has reportedly been delayed.
According to the US Defense Department's annual 'Selected Acquisition Report' on the $22.4bn programme, the Navy has estimated that delivery of the first vessel will be by mid 2016, reported Bloomberg.
USS Zumwalt was originally scheduled to be delivered in September 2013, but was later expected to be handed over to the navy in November last year.
The DDG-1000 is also not expected to be declared with an initial combat capability until 2019.
Bloomberg News cited a report sent to Congress last month as saying that the delays "are due to overall effects of shipyard production and test challenges".
Meanwhile, Navy spokeswoman captain Thurraya Kent, in an e-mail to the news agency said: "The DDG-1000 will begin acceptance trials later this month, and the ship is on track for commissioning on 15 October 2016."
Named in honour of late Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, the destroyers are being built at General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works unit in Bath, Maine, while Raytheon provides the vessel's combat electronics.
Capable of carrying a crew of 142, the 610ft-long Zumwalt multi-mission surface combatants have a displacement capacity of more than 15,000t when fully loaded, and are designed for littoral operations and land attack.
Featuring new technologies such as the Advanced Gun System from BAE Systems, the destroyer will use electricity generated by gas turbines to power all of its systems, including its weapons.
Image: The future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) conducting at-sea tests and trials. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works/Released.