Home » Budget Industry » Navy Planning on Not Buying More LRLAP Rounds for Zumwalt Class


Navy Planning on Not Buying More LRLAP Rounds for Zumwalt Class

A 2009 Lockheed Martin oil painting of a Long Range Land Attack Projectile Strike from a Zumwalt by artisit Richard Thompson. Lockheed Martin Image Used With Permission

A 2009 Lockheed Martin oil painting of a Long Range Land Attack Projectile Strike from a Zumwalt by artisit Richard Thompson. Lockheed Martin Image Used With Permission

The Navy isn’t planning on buying the rocket assisted guided round designed for a key system in the Zumwalt-class of guided missile destroyer, a defense official confirmed to USNI News.

As part of the Navy’s draft for its fiscal year 2018 budget, the service is planning to not purchase any more of the Long Range Land Attack-Projectiles for the Zumwalt-class past about 90 the Navy secured to use for testing on the three hulls.

LRLAP, designed to be fired from the destroyer’s 155mm Advanced Gun Systems, was crafted to strike fixed land targets using GPS guidance at a range of more than 60 miles. LRLAP was set to aid deployed U.S. ground forces, giving a class of about 30 planned Zumwalts a naval surface fire support capability absent from the service since the Iowa-class battleships in the 1990s. However, when the class was trimmed to three hulls, the costs of the rounds the Navy would need went up.

The price for an individual round is estimated to be $800,000 to $1 million — a full buy of the about 2,000 planned rounds for the three ships would be about $1.8 to 2 billion on the high end of the estimate, USNI News understands. In comparison a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile with a range of about 1,000 nautical miles costs about $1 million.

Though LRLAP and AGS tested well, the price – about the cost of an Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer – was deemed too costly and the Navy scrapped the planned buy, a defense official told USNI News.

News of the LRLAP’s fate was first reported by Defense News on Sunday.

In a Monday statement to USNI News, spokeswoman Capt. Thurraya Kent said, “to address evolving threats and mission requirements, the Navy is evaluating industry projectile solutions (including conventional and hyper-velocity projectiles) that can also meet the DDG-1000 deployment schedule and could potentially be used as an alternative to LRLAP for DDG-1000.”

LRLAP developer Lockheed Martin told USNI News the company was ready to assist the service in a Monday statement.

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) transits the Atlantic Ocean during acceptance trials April 21, 2016. US Navy Photo

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) transits the Atlantic Ocean during acceptance trials April 21, 2016. US Navy Photo

“As the DDG-1000’s mission continues to evolve, and taking into consideration funding profiles available to support the weaponization of the ship considering the severe reduction in the planned production quantities, the U.S. Navy decided to evaluate alternate solutions to LRLAP,” read the statement provided to USNI News.
“Lockheed Martin is working aggressively to provide the Navy with options in relation to the DDG-1000’s long-range land attack mission.”

However, the ease of adapting the BAE Systems-built AGS to a new round is unclear. The barrel of the AGS is specially designed to accommodate the LRLAP, then DDG-1000 program manager Rear Adm. Jim Downey told USNI News in May during a visit to USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000).

Artist's concept of an Advanced Gun System Firing a Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP).

Artist’s concept of an Advanced Gun System Firing a Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP).

“It’s a unique barrel for this ammunition. It’s a six-inch round designed with the turnings to allow the LRLAP to fly out of that barrel. There’s been some studies over the year that [indicate] that you could but you’d have to undertake a modification of the system,” he said.
“It’s not impossible but you can’t directly fire [hyper velocity projectiles] out of that barrel without modifications.”

Additionally, the ship has a cooling system built around the LRLAP rate of fire – 10 rounds-per-minute per gun, sustained — and there would also be changes to accommodate a new round in the ship’s Raytheon-built combat system.

“There are studies to look at other rounds but none of that is in the program right now,” Downey said in May.

According to the story in Defense News, the Office of the Secretary of Defense was briefed last week on the service’s decision.

  • Ed L

    HuH?

  • SierraSierraQuebec

    For the same cost per projectile a 250-254mm/L100-102 gun could deliver the same weight of warhead and take out most military targets anywhere on the planet with its potential 2500+km range. Further evolution could project a deep air battle with the same efficiently projected glide shells.

  • Marcd30319

    I thought the Zumwalt-class DDG was suppose to be a land attack destroyer? Oh, well!

    • PolicyWonk

      Yep – no one ever notices a land attack… ;-P

    • Secundius

      LRLAP won’t Fit the 155mm Railgun’s Bore of ~40mm in diameter…

      • UKExpat

        Then fit the ships with railguns and fire the railguns relatively very cheap sabot rounds. You may end up with a cheaper land attack system with slightly reduced accuracy with greater range.

        • Secundius

          Generally Atonic (General Atomics) WHO Make the “Blitzer” Railgun? Also Produce the EMAL’s for the Gerald R. Ford class Aircraft Carrier! In Other Words, THERE NOT WORKING…

          • UKExpat

            I thought that BAE have been given a separate contract to install a BAE rail gun in a Zumwalt Class vessel?

          • Secundius

            The BAe 32MJ Railguns were intended for the Ticonderoga and Arleigh Burke classes. And the BAe 20MJ as a “Possible” Replacement for the 57mm BAe Bofors on the Freedom and Independence classes. Because of Types of Power Plants and Power Storage Capacitors they carry. The TWO LCS classes Don’t Require Power Storage Capacitors because of the Power Output of 20MJ Railguns Don’t Need Them. The “GA” Blitzers have More than Twice the Power Outputs of the BAe Systems. But because of the “Blitzers” Problems, I Wouldn’t be a Bit Surprised if BAe ISN’T working out a Possible Contender to replace the “Blitzer”…

          • UKExpat

            I also thought that the problems with the Cats & Traps on the USS Gerald R. Ford, Aircraft Carrier was now only Traps (Arrestor Gear) related not Cats (EMALS) related as the EMALS are now supposed to be working OK.

          • Secundius

            Only ONE “EMALS” “Dead Load” Shot was performed at Sea in 15 May 2015. ALL “Successful” EMALS Catapult Launchers of an Aircraft were performed on Land at the Lakehurst, NJ. Testing Facility. Hardly a Qualification for “Ready For Sea Use” Also the UK, Might be planning to Retrofit EMALS on the QE and POW in 2023. But NO Firm date is given…

  • Uncle Mike

    Hey where are those guys who wanted to slap VLS cells on LPDs so we could use TLAM in the NGFS mission? News flash: if LRLAP is unaffordable in that role, so is TLAM.

    • Niki Ptt

      LRLAP range: 100 miles, payload 11kg
      TLAM range: 1000 miles, payload 450kg
      Bang-for-buck speaking (pun intended), LRLAP is not even close to a TLAM, so a TLAM could be affordable.
      What isn’t is the VLS system implementation on LPDs. Very costly.

      • John Locke

        Which one is easier to shoot down?

        • Niki Ptt

          If I have the capability to shoot down a Tomahawk, I probably also have the capability to sink the multi-billion dollars LRLAP-shooting boat sitting in the water less than 100 miles away from the coast

          So I’m just gonna sink the Zumwalt.

          • Marauder 2048

            Uh no. The Iraqis knocked down Tomahawk in GW1 with AAA and MANPADS. That’s a far cry from the capability to endanger a LRLAP shooter at range.

          • Niki Ptt

            Hey, even a broken watch gives the exact time twice a day.
            I mean, Yugoslavs with an outdated SA-3 missile and even-more-outdated soviet radar system shot down a state-of-the-art F117.
            And your “at range” is limited to 60-100 miles, which is nothing for even a Cold War-era shore-based anti-ship missile Russians are selling like hot cakes to Third Worls countries.

          • Marauder 2048

            The attrition rate against Tomahawk was greater than what you imply.

            Those Cold War-era shore based ASCM were not designed to contend with a low RCS hull form particularly not in the littorals.

      • Mike @ Pract.us

        Niki, if a 1000 mile standoff range (and a 2 hour response time) is what you want for NGFS, then the SSGNs have you covered. Trust me, this is not what the Marines on the beach want (or deserve).

        • Niki Ptt

          Marines on the beach? Errrr, last time I checked, Marines don’t have the capability to land on a hostile beach.
          But basically, Zumwalt is irrelevant in the shore fire support role… Unless you stuff its VLSs with TLAMs.

          • Secundius

            Not Exactly True! LCAC’s, Helicopters, L-CAT-30’s, JHSV…

          • Niki Ptt

            LCACs are unarmored, extremely visible and vulnerable. Out.
            Helo’s can bring some troops and firepowers, but nothing like LAVs or Abrams, or troops in a sufficient number to overtake a beach.
            L-CATs, well they’re not even in service in the US Navy, since French-made, and are like the LCACs, unarmored and unarmed.
            JHSV can’t beach, are extremely large unarmored targets, and are armed with two machine guns…
            So, no, the US Marine Corps can’t land on a hostile beach with its current means.

          • Marauder 2048

            Which is why there is Naval Surface Fire Support! Having said that, equipping the SSC with APS or some C-RAM capability is highly desirable.

          • Niki Ptt

            Well, the SSC ended up being an upgraded LCAC, so no luck for onboard APS or SeaRAM.
            Concerning Naval Surface Fire Support, it’s inefficient against hardened targets, and quite inaccurate. It would have been better with LRLAP 155mm rounds but, again, no luck, these got canceled.

          • Marauder 2048

            No evidence those systems couldn’t be retrofitted; there’s the SWaP-C margin for it.

            Naval Surface Fire Support was neither inefficient nor inaccurate against hardened targets in Kuwait in 1991. The argument being made here is for its efficacy and retention in some form: LRLAP is great but HVP might come close and be more widely applicable to more tubes.

          • Secundius

            Last LCAC I saw mounted TWO M2 .50-caliber (12.7x99mmR/BMG) “Ma Deuce” and a Single Mk.19 40x53mmR Auto Grenade Launcher.

            JHSV, is a “Ro-Ro” design with a Stern Ramp for Vehicle to Ground Access. Armament is Whatever It’s Carrying at the time.

            As far as the L-CAT-30’s a AMOS or a NEMO should be Mounted. Other Than That, at least THREE M2 “Ma Deuce” Heavy Machine Guns are Carried. Speed is its Greatest Asset, that’s why the were Purchased…

          • Niki Ptt

            For the LCAC, you speak about the two weapon mounts up front, which are barely usable due to the navigating conditions of such a ship? Nice… By the way, I never saw a weapon actually installed on these mounts, and it’s not 2xM2 + 1xMk19, ’cause there are only two mounts.
            JHSV has a ramp, which can potentially (to be tested) get AMTRACs from the deck to the water, but that’s it. You CANNOT beach anything with this ship. You need at least a pier, or a floating pontoon (but with zero waves, according to the results of the trials at sea, so considered non-feasable in practice) to unload non-amphibious vehicles. As for the weapons, 4 mounts for manned M2s… That’s not what I call an “armed vessel”.
            L-CAT are not yet purchased and probably won’t be, as it is build in France and Textron is competing. Since you passed a law forbidding to buy foreign materials on the shelf, well, Textron is probably gonna win. And I’ve been on board during sea trials, with the program manager. For him, it’s not an assault boat. Worse, we ended up on the conclusion that only the Russians have true assault landing crafts.
            To end up on this, M2 machine guns and Mk19 launchers are not sufficient to support an assault landing, so I consider all these crafts unarmed and, even worse, totally unarmored.

            And PLEASE! Stop wrinting “M2 “Ma Deuce””! That’s a fu**ing redundancy!

          • Secundius

            JHSV, Flight Deck is Rated to Support the CH-53K’s of at least 74,000-pounds. How Many Weapon Systems Meet that Weight Requirement. The L-CAT-30’s, are Already Bought in August 2016. It’s just a matter of Delivery. US Army ISN’T Covered by the “Jones” Act of 1920…

          • Niki Ptt

            “How Many Weapon Systems Meet that Weight Requirement”. A lot. Problem is integrating them to the ship or making a standoff version of existing integrated weapons systems. And no forward-firing-scenario possible.
            And as of October 20, 2016, nothing was bought or even signed. I know because I have my entries in France.
            I wasn’t referring to the Jones Act, but to the 1933 Buy American Act.

          • Secundius

            Who do you Think the Largest Supplier of Small Arms to the US Military is? NOT “Colt” or “Springfield” or ANY US Gun Manufacturer. It’s also called Indirect Fire Support. Ship’s DON’T Require Over the Bow Shots to Make Kills Anymore…

          • Marauder 2048

            TLAM has a comparatively long time of flight and still requires fairly involved mission planning (deconfliction, allocation of SATCOM resources, etc) which hurts response time and is backed by a shallow magazine since unlike AGS, the VLS cells (certainly the strike length ones) cannot be replenished at sea.

      • Secundius

        How Effective is a TLAM in the Anti-Aircraft or Anti-Missile Role?

        • Niki Ptt

          Zero.
          Exactly the same amount as the LRLAP.

          • Secundius

            TLAM is Preprogrammed to Hit a Stationary Target, While LRLAP can be Guided to its Target. Even While its Moving…

          • Niki Ptt

            So can a TLAM Block IV.

          • kpb80

            While TLAMs are effective for a certain mission set, they are expensive, vulnerable to modern IADS, and >$1m a pop. They’re not what you need to provide CAS.
            I’m not arguing for LRLAP, but the Navy badly needs the equivalent of a surface launched SDB… whether it looks like ATACMS, AGS, or a navalized version of the M198 155mm artillery they need a sub $100k / round weapon system that can be used to support maritime operations in the littorals.

        • RGM/UGM-109B Tomahawk Anti Ship Missile (TASM) ….

          • Secundius

            What About It? A 550mph Cruise Missile HAS what Value in Intercepting a “Supercruise” Aircraft or “Hypersonic” Anti-Shipping Missile…

          • What is the role of a 155 mm shell in the antiarienne fight? A cruise missile makes an attack on the missile battery, ships and enemy air base before the arrival of the fleet;

          • Secundius

            WW2 Physics! The Idea wasn’t to do a “One-to-One Kill” on Kamikaze’s. But to Create a Steel Wall between You and the Threat, which the Threat had to Fly Through to get to You. WW2 Battleship 16-inch Guns made Very Effective “Shotguns”…

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    So… cancel the ship class.
    …… then cancel the weapons class.

    • RobM1981

      I like the ship, but dump this pink elephant of a “gun.” It’s not a gun; it’s a missile launch tube.

      $1M per round is about 7 standard deviations beyond Madness. To call that a “round” is an insult, and I’m tired of my government insulting me.

      What, the old Shillelagh system taught us nothing? It’s a missile; it’s a gun tube… IT’S BOTH!

      How clever we are, eh?

      And, Sam, don’t ever compare a Zumwalt with an Iowa in any meaningful way other than Stealth. A brand new ship, with the hull and armor of an Iowa, would be a fearsome beast.

      It would also be a target for submarines, but that’s neither here nor there.

      The 5″ rounds of the Zumwalts compare unfavorably to the 6″ mounts of a Light Cruiser.

      You want long range? That’s what missiles are for. You want weight of broadside? That’s what large bore naval guns are for.

      This “gun” was a joke, is a joke, and will be a joke until they bury it.

      • Secundius

        The 152mm “Shillelagh” was Intended to Cover BOTH the Anti-Tank Missile Role and the M135 165mm Demolition Gun Role. The NEW TOW II/A, II/A Aero/BB Wireless Missile can do BOTH Function Now…

      • M van dongen

        Round cost is the problem of cutting the number of hulls it was to be used on by a factor of 10.
        At a unit price of 80 to a 100k it would have filled a gap between guns and missiles.

        • Secundius

          If you’re referring to the 155mm AGS?/! There being converted with Rifled Sleeve Inserts to Fire 155mm Howitzer Projectiles. The “Excalibur” ISN’T Missile Capable and can ONLY be Fired for an 155mm Howitzer…

  • El_Sid

    It’s saying more about the progress on other systems like railguns, and HVP in particular.

    • Marauder 2048

      Both are substantially less mature than LRLAP with HVP in particular delivering less payload and a reduction in range.

    • ben wah

      they’d have to figure out how to extend the life of the railgun barrels before anything. as of now, theyre only good for a few hundred shots before being replaced.

      • Niki Ptt

        A few hundreds? You’re being gentle here…

  • Marauder 2048

    Lockheed gets another reminder of Kelly Johnson’s rule about not doing business with the Navy.

    My sympathies to the engineers and technicians who sweated blood and made sacrifices trying to meet LRLAP’s exacting performance and IM requirements. At least you’ll get to see them fired from the ship.

  • Keith Jones

    Bush started the F 22 cutbacks. Then Obama’s inherited Republican Secretary of Defense Robert Gates cut it even further.

  • looms ominously

    2 billion? What a boondoggle. Drain the swamp of these MIC parasites

  • Kenneth

    It seems to me it would be cheaper to have at least two of the Battleships in service. Treat them like a Hospital ship, in port most of the time. There spending billions on a ship that may not be able to perform in combat. Put those systems on a Battleship.

  • Curtis Conway

    The US Navy and the DoD acquisition process have shown themselves unable to build and deploy anything that is cost effective and affordable to buy. Can’t win a war this way. The High Velocity Projectiles had better pan out . . . and soon.

  • MA

    New Battleship class – 16 to 18 inch guns forward and an F-35B flight deck aft. Stuffed with anti air systems in the middle. Cancel an America class or Ford class carrier.
    Standard round gets you 24 miles. I bet a new round could get you close to 60 miles

    • kpb80

      Developing any large caliber gun (>8″) would basically require a program unto itself. It would be costly. I know the Iowas have 16″ guns (and we have loads of surplus shells for them left over from WW2 and Korea), but no one wants to develop a new turret, and it’s not realistic to cut one off the existing Iowas. An 18″ gun has no precedent in the US Navy.
      A front 1/3 BB, middle 1/3 CG, aft 1/3 CV for JSF would be incredibly expensive. Not to mention it would be a capital asset, and now you’d have to drive it within 10-20 miles of the enemy coast to use those guns. There is a reason the USN doesn’t like to drive its warships 12 miles off the coast of any country, never mind a near peer. It would become a reef very quickly, whether by mine, AIP sub, coastal artillery, anti-ship missile, aircraft, suicide bomb boat, etc.

      Taking a step back, while we all have romantic notions of the Marines storming the beaches of Iwo Jima, it’s questionable whether that is a realistic exercise for the Marines any more. And if not, then you certainly don’t need 16″ guns.

      • Curtis Conway

        Actually a new surface nuclear program could support an Icebreaker, new cruiser (which would be in effect a BMD ship)/aviation platform, new oilier/logistics support ship, and provide the operators for a new common shore based nuclear power plant of the same configuration that can be installed across the country.

        • Secundius

          Forget IT. Congress will NEVER Fund EITHER a Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker or Cruiser…

          • Curtis Conway

            One of our VPs told me that very message yesterday. Nuclear Icebreakers just makes so much sense. Using the same reactor for a domestic (small scale) nuclear power program using the Navy trained operators in them across the country makes so much sense too. However, we still have no solution that anyone agrees with about how to deal with nuclear waste produced. Perhaps the MOX Plant in SC could help.

          • Secundius

            Unfortunately YOU, I and Your VP Friends Live in the World of “Murphy” (the REAL World). US Congress, Live in THEIR (Fantasy Land) World. Where ANYTHING’s Possible, But HIGHLY Improbable…

    • tpharwell

      A whole new line up.

      1. ASW frigate with half the DDG 1000 propulsion: single fixed pitch screw. One turbine-gen, one auxiliary, one diesel back up.

      2. New CG based on the DDG 1000: salvage this program, or the USN will not have a new cruiser in twenty or more years. Makes the guns of this thing work. Give it the radars it needs.

      3. Your battleship class: an “Aircraft carrying guided missile cruiser”, circa 48K T FLD. For VSTOL aircraft. Stick with guns or missiles we have or presently will have. All electric with single reactor or gas turbine genset propulsion.

      4. Virginia.

      5. Cut the size and number of the Ohio replacements down. X land-based ICBMs. Push the new AF bomber program. We can afford some unilateral nuclear disarmament. We have got too many doomsday missiles. Make the Columbia class do double duty for sea control, and try to make these bloody expensive submarines converge on a single design, or the United States will go the way of the Soviet Union – bankruptcy.

      6. Put a hold on more Fords until the USN has a long range air supremacy & strike fighter worthy of them.

      7. Ditto, the America, and all follow on LHD/A. Use your CVG battleship.

      9. Brim Lakota class combat logistics ship – shared design features with battleship.

      10. New minesweep. Cancel LCS program. Turn existing ships in to dedicated minesweeps.

      11. Keep building ABs in the meantime.

      • ScottBrim, ISA

        TPH, thanks for the plug. I’m currently on the road on a business trip and will get into the details of Concept CSW-21, the Capital Seaframe Warship, once I get back home about the middle of next week.

        The basic philosophy driving Concept CSW-21 is that fleet escorts will be forced more and more towards dealing with anti-submarine warfare tasks under conditions where the logistical supply train isn’t up to the job of supplying the surface fleet because of severe A2/AD threats in theater, because AAW and AShM threats arising from the proliferation of anti-ship missiles, and because of a lack of fleet supply train numbers.

        Concept CSW-21 designs are large enough that they don’t need as much UNREP logistical support as would otherwise be necessary using traditional warship design philosophies. I’ll have more to say on this when I get back home about the middle of next week.

      • Matt Bowyer

        If you’re going to use existing weapons, then what is the point of a new BBG?

        What can 1 x 50K T ship do that 10 x 5K T ships can’t?
        10 ships can be in ten places, and need at least 10 attacks to sink them all.

  • Shaka_X

    Obama didn’t cause the financial shortfalls that caused these programs to be curtailed. We chose to piss our money away on wars in the mid east. That wasn’t the fault of Obama

    • uncaherb

      Guess you missed the article about Prez Obama approving more weapons for middle east customers than any previous president, kind of like his national debt legacy….

      • Secundius

        That ALSO Includes Israeli “Freebies” to the Defense at the Cost of US Taxpayers…

      • Shaka_X

        And this is related ….I rather have him sending weapons vice our youngsters

    • Daniel G Hanke

      I love the idiot’s who say the war in Iraq was a waste. I’d much rather be fighting in the streets of Baghdad than fighting in the streels of (name your US city). But wait obama did get us out of Iraq and now we ARE fighting in the streets of (name your US city). For all the deaths our men and women it’s still better than the figthing in the US. Oh, and yes I had a son serve in Iraq from 2004 to 2005.

      • Shaka_X

        The agreements to leave Iraq were signed before Obama took office. Remember bush having a shoe thrown at him. That was the celebratory press conference. If Obama had tried to abrogate that agreement the repubs would have had a sh*t fit. And which US streets are we fighting on? Hyperbole much?

        • Daniel G Hanke

          Yup everything obama did was good cause he be black! Quit apologizing for him, his record speaks for itself! OMG you people make be sick.

          • Shaka_X

            So instead of refuting my argument you use it as an excuse get a dig in at “us” people?

          • Daniel G Hanke

            Why argue with an idiot?

          • Mike Smith

            You are the idiot, and a fearful, cowardly one at that.

          • Shaka_X

            I’m hardly an idiot, and since you choose to insult me rather than engage in intelligent discourse, I rest my case.

  • PolicyWonk

    As the DDG -000’s mission continues to evolve…
    =======================================
    The Zumwalt’s capabilities don’t have much in common with the rest of of the fleet, in that it is really the lone, designed from the start for stealth platform (outside of subs and some of our aircraft). Therefore, its wasted on fleet operations because all the other non-stealthy platforms will attract a lot of attention.

    The role “land attack destroyer” seems kind of silly, in that when attacking the land, its typically in support of an invasion, which means she is then in the company of a non-stealthy fleet. And one would think that an invasion from the sea isn’t the most subtle event a potential adversary might miss.

    Hence – the Zumwalts are seemingly only useful when acting in concert with other stealth platforms (her sisters in the class, SSN’s, SSGN’s, or aircraft), or otherwise alone in some kind of intelligence gathering role.

    If folks on this forum have other ideas w/r/t that her mission profiles might be, I love to hear ’em.

    • Marauder 2048

      The at-sea replenishable AGS magazine and the high ROF cannon is one of attributes that stands out.

      The planned spiral upgrades to LRLAP included a terminal seeker which would have made the Zumwalts a FAC/go-fast boat/general swarm killer.

      I tend to think the same vision for HVP (AAW, ASuW) would apply to the round ultimately selected as the LRLAP replacement.

    • tpharwell

      As it stands, it is effectively a $24B demonstration project. Three ships alone can make no substantial contribution to the Navy of the future that is cost effective. The people who killed this program are trying to make sure it stays dead. Consider the likely suspects. They are probably that same who gave it to us.

      The DDG 1000 mission concept is supercilious nonsense in the first instance. It was requisitioned by arrogant idiots. And the USN has happily gone along and squandered its future on it. The CG(X) program of the last decade was cancelled so that the DDG 1000 could go on wasting more money. This program has got to be salvaged. Start with a new mission concept. Save the hull, propulsion and management systems, if the thing proves itself in sea trials. Otherwise, scrap it and start over. Air defense. Sea control. (ASW) Small VSTOL aircraft. Rotaries.

  • old guy

    I’m no fan of the DD1000, but the LRLRP system on it is the only combat improvement in the Navy. What’s the difference if you can knock out a target with one million $ round or 10 100,000$ rounds?

    • UKExpat

      Go for a Railgun instead, it is a combat improvement You could knock out a target with less than 10 No. 35,000$ rounds and save 2/3 thirds $ million per target

  • draeger24

    well….don’t say we didn’t tell you so….

  • A Quaker ship with Quaker guns…can it still fire conventional 155mm/6inch rounds? If not some one should be keel hauled. “Lookee see bigee shipee with no gunee” quote from a PLAN admiral.
    Quaker guns are guns that were in actually logs made to look like guns.

    • kpb80

      supposedly there is no other ammunition available currently for the 6″ guns. I.e. there is no “conventional” round. It was all or nothing on the LRLAP.

      • Isn’t 155mm what the Army uses? I understand the 155’s have extended range shells. AM I missing something or is it that F’d up. As a temp. fix take out the guns and all the cooling crap and mount 155mm USMC or USA guns.

        • kpb80

          Army does use 155 for both towed and SP artillery. They do even have a “guided” munition. However, the range is 40km (much less than LRLAP), and I’m sure it would take some doing to either adapt the AGS barrels to fire the army arty, or bring a new gun tube onto the Zumwalt. However, short of having a deck gun that is for looks only, I’m not sure what the other short term answers are.

  • Ken N

    What an absolute folly the DDG-1000 program has become. So what exactly is this ship good for at this point? It can’t do fleet air defense, its NGFS mission just got knee capped, and its got 80 VLS cells verses the 96 on the Burkes. For the money spent we could have had 7 more desperately need Virginia SSN’s. The DDG-1000’s better have railguns mounted on them in the next decade…

    • kpb80

      agree. It doesn’t even have the full capability of the radar designed for it, so it can’t do BMD. And supposedly, the Navy has been busy bolting things onto the ship which have had the effect of making it less stealthy.
      Maybe it was a jump too far in capabilities, but the Zumwalt is looking like it will end up being pretty useless. The 3 in class are basically technology demonstrators at this point, with the Navy unwilling to spend $ on to give their 3-ship class of white elephants any real “teeth”

  • omegatalon

    This is insanity.. as they spent $24Billion to develop this super-stealthy ship then just build 3 and the worst part is that they knew that each of the LRLAP round would be expensive because it’s a smart munition and not just a dumb bomb; thus, they’re going to need to consider simply scrapping the entire program because what good is this ship without it’s main guns.

    • Shaka_X

      When these platforms were designed, 10 to 15 years time frames, and budgeted there were projected funds to complete the project. But financial realities set in so at this point we cant afford the project, which caused the price of the ammo to rise exponentially. if you buy 30,000 you get one price if you order 300 you get another price, Simple manufacturing economics

      • Mike Smith

        Stop making excuses for the rife incompetence that permeates DOD.

    • Matt Bowyer

      Well it’d be much better if they just replaced the guns with VLS, with a vertical-launched version of SLAM. It’s half the price and considerably more deadly… indeed it’s much more powerful than the 16″ guns that AGS is meant to be replacing.

  • Glenn Sebolt

    This is mind boggling here the whole story of the DD1000 Class. It was designed for shore bombardment not fleet defense. The munitions and the gun system that use them were seemingly designed in tandem for that mission. Now, the Navy cancels the long range munition used for the long range bombardment and wants to research other munitions but it seems at first glance that the gun system is unique to firing that specific projectile? And to think they are building 3 of these ships. Scrap it now and buy more Burkes…

    • Secundius

      Where does the phrase “Cancellation” appear in the Article? I Do see the phrase “No Buying Anymore”. Which probably means, the ‘Zumwalt’s’ have what they DEEMED Needed to do the Job…

  • SierraSierraQuebec

    For the same cost per projectile a 250-254mm/L100-102 gun could deliver
    the same weight of warhead and take out most military targets anywhere
    on the planet with its potential 2500+km range. Further evolution could
    project a deep air battle with the same efficiently projected glide
    shells. Heavier sizes of rounds can blanket the deep littorals, in some cases with
    very limited or no guidance at all.

  • Leatherstocking

    To deploy the Zumwalts without rounds for the guns is nonsense. Order at least enough for a loadout and some spares. Truncate the order when you have a replacement round. I agree a $1M a round is ridiculous but so is a destroyer bigger than the old light cruisers like the Cleveland class with 12 6″ rifles.

    • Secundius

      I don’t recall ANYTHING in the Article about the Zumwalt NOT Having Gun Rounds in Their “Shot Lockers” (Magazines)…

      • Leatherstocking

        I was going by RADM Downey’s quotes: “It’s a unique barrel for this ammunition. It’s a six-inch round designed with the turnings to allow the LRLAP to fly out of that barrel. There’s been some studies over the year that [indicate] that you could but you’d have to undertake a modification of the system,” and “It’s not impossible but you can’t directly fire [hyper velocity projectiles] out of that barrel without modifications.”
        I always thought the AGS fired both conventional and LRLAP rounds but the comments above make it look like some compromises have been made in rifling, loading and cooling. Now I’m not sure if we’re getting a system that is fully useful with conventional rounds without “modifications”. Anyone else like to sound off?

        • Secundius

          What Unique About It? Other than Being Automated! It’s SAME Gun System used by the US Army and USMC, the M777 155mm Howitzer…

  • Rob C.

    Maybe the Rail guns can be used instead.

    Still the last of the Iowa-Class Battleships were just using Drones during the Persian Gulf War to guide their gun fire, they did fine job. Disappointing this ammo costs so much, but that’s what you get for highteching the plumbing too much.

    • Secundius

      One Problem? There NOT WORKING! The Railguns, are from the SAME People that are Outfitting EMALS on the Gerald R.Ford class Aircraft Carriers, “Generally Atonic” (General Atomics)…

  • Bull Jones

    Drop the gun and round and put a pair of good 8 inch tubes in there. Call them cruisers and be done with it.

    • Secundius

      GOOD LUCK? Last on was Melted Down around 1980. But Maybe a Museum Ship or a Museum MIGHT actually have one…

  • Mike Smith

    This is just another example of the incompetent “managers,” mils and civs, in DOD’s procurement field. Its chock full of “don’t rock the boat” DOD one agency careerist org toadies who NEVER speak up even when the facts dictate otherwise.