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New Requirements for DDG-1000 Focus on Surface Strike

The guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) arrives at its new homeport in San Diego on Dec. 8, 2016. US Navy photo.

The Navy is revamping the Zumwalt-class destroyer’s requirements and will morph it into a focused surface strike platform, the director of surface warfare (OPNAV N96) told USNI News today.

The ships were originally designed to support embarked forces ashore with long-range gunfire with GPS-guided shells fired at fixed targets. The new emphasis on surface strike would make the stealthy ship more effective against other surface ships in blue water as well as closer to shore.

Service leadership is reviewing the recommendations of a Zumwalt Requirements Evaluation Team, which sought to bring together acquisition, requirements and operational experts to generate a cost-effective plan that generations the most warfighting utility for the three DDG-1000 ships – using the same rapid requirements-generation model the Navy used for the frigate program.

Rear Adm. Ron Boxall told USNI News today at the American Society of Naval Engineers’ annual Combat Systems Symposium that the 60-day effort by the FFG Requirements Evaluation Team helped each stakeholder understand how their needs interacted with others’ to affect cost, schedule, operational effectiveness and more.

“I was very pleased with where we came out because some of the decisions were much more about the concept of what we’re getting instead of the actual platform we’re getting,” Boxall told USNI News during a question and answer period after his remarks.
“So now fast forward: we said, hey, it worked once, let’s try it again. Let’s get this same type of team together and take DDG-1000, which has some of the most advanced capabilities of any ship we’ve ever produced, and at the same time look at some of the challenges we’ve had. It’s no surprise, we have some very expensive bills still outstanding with the LRLAP (Long-Range Land-Attack Projectile), for example; we terminated LRLAP last program, and we said we’ve got to go look at where we want to go with that gun. So looking at where we go with that gun, how we can take advantage of what that ship is good at, and come up with a new set of requirements. Obviously, a lot of those are classified, but the good news is that we’re going to look at focusing that ship more on offensive surface strike. And so this ship was already designed to do some of that mission, but we were focused on the very clear requirement we wrote for this ship in 1995, and the world has changed quite a bit since then. And so we’re modifying the missions and where we are with it.

“You’ll hear more about this as we go forward with it, but the gist of it is, the big takeaway is, we see an opportunity with this ship, with its ability to carry the weapons it can carry and the types of design we put into it for signature control, that we think is a very good platform to be used forward as a surface strike platform,” he continued.
“It was an all-hands-on-deck effort. I feel like we have found an area that I think we all think is the right way forward for all different reasons.”

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

Boxall told USNI News after the event that the Zumwalt Requirements Evaluation Team has wrapped up its work – after meeting several times a week via video teleconference for about 60 days – and is staffing its recommendations through Navy leadership. The key questions Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson will have to answer are “what are you going to fund, what are you going to do now, what are you going to do later. A lot of it’s going to be a function of how much money we get. We’ve got a mission to do with DDG-1000, we don’t want to upset the apple cart too much, so we want to keep her on track for meeting the goals she has to get her out on deployment. We still have some work to do on how we would implement any of those changes and what that means exactly for what specific capability. But that generally is the idea, to shift it to a focused surface strike platform, really that’s the gist of it.”

Though the new mission focus is a major development for the DDG-1000 program – many have wondered what the three Zumwalt-class warships would do without the accompanying LRLAP – Boxall said the process the 60-day requirements evaluation teams have used is also very exciting for the requirements community. In some past cases, such as the CG(X) next-generation cruiser, requirements officers have spent years on a program, only to have it ultimately canceled. With this new process that brings together all stakeholders right at the start, along with computer tools that allow them to generate numerous iterations of a ship design, the Navy can work through a program’s requirements much faster and come up with a more mature and technologically informed set of requirements.

“What’s exciting about this [is] we’re starting to create a repository of knowledge that we can use to reiterate as we need to go along,” he told USNI News after the event.
“We’ve not done a good job of doing that in the past, it’s was kind of resident in the requirements officers and the acquisition team; now we’re actually doing it with the models – here’s what this combination of capabilities proves to get to us, and as we learn things or technology improves or costs more or less, we can make adjustments a lot more quickly.”

Asked about applying this methodology to more programs, like the Future Surface Combatant family of systems that followed the canceled CG(X), Boxall said those discussions have already begun.

“We actually took some of the work we’re doing with Future Surface Combatant and brought that back (to the FFG Requirements Evaluation Team); we said hey, the Future Surface Combatant is about where we’re going with the whole family of ships, so if we’re going to be producing an FFG of the future that’s going to be kind of at the small surface combatant size, then we don’t want that to be disconnected,” he said. And moving forward with the large, small and unmanned surface combatants the Navy is considering for the Future Surface Combatant family, Boxall said the designs that have already been iterated can be used as a good starting point for future efforts.

  • David Flandry

    There are only a total of three of these overpriced ships, so their overall impact in a naval war is problematic. Of course, one way to make an expensive ship is to build only a few.

    • FelixA9

      Even Burkes would be expensive if they’d only built three. As for their impact, that’s more a function of outfitting them with the right weapons. Since they cut them to three units the motivation for developing Zumwalt-specific weapons isn’t really there. That said, there are relatively cheap ways they could expand their influence if they decided they wanted to.

    • Secundius

      For NOW?/! But there may come a Time where “Nessity” Overcomes “Price”, and More will have to be constructed regardless of the ~$3-Billion USD Price Tag per Ship…

      • PolicyWonk

        Well, a mission for these ships has yet to be defined, even given the article. The stealth design does little good if they’re assigned to fleet operations, because none of the other ships are all that stealthy, nor do they carry the missile load of the Ticos/Burkes.

        The mission has yet to be defined with any clarity – and given the cost of the sea-frames they’d have to build a LOT of them to get to the point to where the ammo for the guns is worth buying.

        • Secundius

          How about “Ballistic Missile Defense Ships”, or “Arsenal Ships”, or “Bombardment Ship”, or Even a Cruiser replacement to the Aging “ Tico’s” STILL in Service! Your choice, or maybe something different…

          • PolicyWonk

            Well, they could be a BMD ship, given the appropriate upgrades – but we already have Burkes performing that duty. It would make a lousy arsenal ship given its relatively small missile carrying capacity (a lot less than a Tico, for example). The bombardment aspect is what it was designed for, but given the technical improvements in A2/D2, without the long-range shells its guns were designed to use, it would be a much easier target to detect (and therefore destroy).

            I think its got to be something different. Since the original purpose of these ships has largely gone away (or was otherwise rendered pointless), the USN is now stuck with a rather expensive set of test beds.

            At least the Seawolf (SSN) class yielded us several weapons we could really use. But who knows? There might be a truly ingenious way to use these ships – I just don’t know what that is. And given the topical nature of the article, the USN isn’t entirely sure either.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Tico and the other 3 first of the class have been retired and the rest should be getting retired soon, but as no decent CG replacement is likely before I’m pushing up daisies they’ll get modernized and be about as much fun (and expensive) to operate as USS Enterprise was her last 10 years.

          • Secundius

            As I recall, Decommissioned Ships are: Ticonderoga, Yorktown, Vincennes, Valley Forge and Thomas S. Gates…

        • CHENG1087

          What, exactly, are “sea-frames”? Did you mean to say “ships”?

          • PolicyWonk

            No – the sea-frame refers to the core/hull of the ship itself.

      • Horn

        Most of the industrial lines for parts for these ships have closed long ago. You won’t ever see this ship design produced anytime soon unless they decide to reuse the design for a new cruiser in the future. We’d basically have to start from scratch from a production standpoint, and they seem to take way too long to produce.

        • Secundius

          I Doubt It!/? You DON’T fund Three $3-Billion Ships Each and then Shut Down the Maintenance Supply Line. To allow these “Behemoths” too “Weither On the Vine”…

          • Horn

            They already bought spares of which they will need a limited supply. Do you really think they’d keep a production line running to build new deckhouses, or material for new keels? I’m not talking about common electronics here; I’m talking about items you won’t be able to use on anything but a Zumwalt, and to which you will only need a few of over the lifetime of the ship. Do you really need to keep a production line running for gunhousings, or is it cheaper to just keep ~10 spares?

          • Secundius

            BAe is building a Lightweight AGS of ~53-tons for ALL “Tico’s” and “Arleigh Burke’s”…

          • El Kabong

            “for ALL “Tico’s” and “Arleigh Burke’s”…”

            Shall I explain to you the manufacturing economics of producing parts for a LOT of ships vs the economics of building parts for a class of three ships?

        • Duane

          You fail to recognize that modern ships are built in modules, in widely dispersed factories, that are then delivered to the shipyard for final assembly. The old notion that you devote an entire drydock or huge assembly building to building a single ship at a time was abandoned decades ago. It’s relatively easy to “retool” when building a single module in a given not especially large or complex plant.

          • DaSaint

            US shipyards that construct surface ships do build in modules, but at the same facility. They do not transport them between yards.

            European yards often embrace the concept you mentioned, but generally due to political reasons, keeping everyone involved/employed.

            Hull costs are generally the least expensive portion of the contract. Size and cost do not necessarily equate, otherwise giant container ships or tankers would be tremendously expensive. Steel is cheap, relatively speaking. Labor, here in the US is expensive.

            Of course, warships require higher build and survivability standards. systems, electronics and weapons. That falls under your ‘all things being equal’.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Virginia module are shipped between yards and portions of the Zumwalt were too, before they reached a new agreement between yards to give all 3 DDG-1000s to Bath.

          • DaSaint

            My comment specified surface warships, not submarines.
            Regarding the Zumwalt, honestly, I wasn’t aware of that, but you’re proving my point in that it’s rare. Can you cite additional examples of major hull and superstructure component modules being shipped from shipyard to shipyard for surface combatants? And please don’t use the San Antonio composite mast as the example.

          • Duane

            Widely disperse facilities, whether at the same yard or not, means it is relatively easy to retool for changes, because it does not require reconfiguring the entire drydock or manufacturing building, as I wrote. A module can be easily redesigned and slipped into place with the other modules, as long as the interface requirements and dimensions are satisfied. That is the whole point of modular construction, which is the only way US warships are built today.

          • DaSaint

            I am a staunch supporter or modular construction and fully understand the concept and myriad of benefits. US yards doing combatant construction, generally do NOT operate the way European yards do. And as staunch a supporter of US industry that I am, I RECOGNIZE that there are a host of shipyard practices and efficiencies that US yards are just now emulating from European yards, often due to them being purchased by European conglomerates.

            Duane, I like conversing with you, regardless but when one writes ‘widely dispersed factories’, I think it’s fair to interpret that as meaning being off-site at a different yard or facility.

            When one writes “that are then delivered to the shipyard for final assembly”, again I think it is fair to confirm that interpretation, as is the case in many European yards that do in fact ‘deliver to the shipyard for final assembly’.

            Many major US shipyards still do not construct indoors, under cover, as do their European counterparts. It allows better control of environmental conditions, space planning, round-the-clock schedules if necessary, and concealment until launch. There’s a lot to learn and to improve on, and when we do, production costs will decrease and efficiency will increase. It’s a proven fact in modern shipyard planning and management.

          • Duane

            Thanks, DaSaint. The European practices are starting to filter into to US naval shipyards (I don’t mean “US Naval Shipyards”, as in US-owned). The Fincanterri-Marinette yard that produces the Freedom class LCS is one example – they successfully cut the production cost in half between LCS-1 and the 10-ship block buys tarting in 2010. It’s all indoors. Similarly, the Austal plant in Mobile, with Austal being Australian-based.

            General Dynamics also builds submarines in factories, using a modular approach.

            The obvious advantage of factory built ships is elimination of weather effects and delays, and therefore better build quality and lower costs are achievable.

            Aircraft production has gone the same route of modular construction, with, for instance, the F-35, which has modules built in several locations and then shipped to the main LM assembly factory in Dallas.

          • DaSaint

            Absolutely right! Before the Marinette and Austal yards, covered construction for combatants was nil. Only the GD & EB yards were covered, and that was because of the need to conceal from prying ‘Soviet’ eyes from back in the day.

            BIW lost the contract for the OPC partly because their shipyard practices were outdated and they needed more internal construction volume. It’s cold in Maine! You would have thought that they could have figured that out themselves.

            Aircraft production has lots of lessons as well, as you mentioned.

          • El Kabong

            Oh, good grief….

            Now you’re comparing aircraft manufacturing to ship building?

            Yeah, sure Duaney, using an Airbus Guppy transport to move a set of 10 ton wings to a plant is SO similar to moving a ship module weighing 500 tons or more….

            “Aircraft production has gone the same route of modular construction…”?

            WOW.

            Sure Duaney, for the last 100 years aircraft were NEVER built as components…

            Go read up on Avro Lancaster production.

          • El Kabong

            “It’s relatively easy to “retool” when building a single module in a given not especially large or complex plant.”?

            LMAO!!!!

            Now you’re a naval architect Duaney?

    • Duane

      The DDG-1000s are not necessarily overpriced. For one, they are very large at nearly 15,000 tons, about 50% larger than an Arleigh Burke, and with a very large electrical generating plant not seen on any other ship but a Ford CVN. All other things being equal, you pay for ships by the ton, and by the capacity.

      Whether or not we end up building a fleet of similarly sized and capable large surface combatants is yet to be seen.

      It is not unusual for developmental ships to be built in small numbers in an early class or two. There was only a single Enterprise class CVN, which served as the technology demonstrator for what later became the Nimitz class CVNs. The early classes of SSNs were built in small numbers until, with the design kinks worked out, and post-SUBSAFE, the Navy finally built a large class of SSNs – the Sturgeon or 637 class.

      We will learn a great deal from the Zumwalt class, and apply that learning to its successor class or classes.

      • CHENG1087

        “…developmental ships to be built in small numbers…”? The ZUMWALT was meant to be the lead ship in a class of 30+ ships. The class was subsequently slashed by ninety percent to just three ships. Referring to these three ships as “developmental” is revisionist history. It was never the intention to build just three “developmental” ships — it just happened that way, and the “developmental” myth is a face-saving back-fit.

        • El Kabong

          Don’t waste too much time on the resident LCS cheerleader.

          He just stated, “Seawolfs were/are extremely capable, but not optimized for large scale production.”.

          The dumb is strong in that one.

        • Duane

          I did not write that the Zumwalt was not intended to be the first of large class of ships. I wrote the following: “It is not unusual for developmental ships to be built in small numbers in an early class or two.” Because that happens to be true.

          The DDG1000 – first in class – was always intended to be a developmental hull, as all first hulls in totally new design configurations must necessarily be. The Navy certainly knew it would not be a cheap ship, given that at the outset it was a 15,000 ton ship when Arleigh Burkes Flight IIs only run 9,200 tons, and most knowledgable people realize you pay for ships by the ton, as well as capability. The decision to cut the class to just three ships was made in reflection of changing politics – the end of the Cold War and the crash of the Soviet Union, then a decade later the beginning of the 2000s terror wars, and then the financial crash of 2008 followed by the budget sequester of 2011, all of which impacted all defense spending and weapons design, had more than anything to do with recalibrating the class size Actually, it was an intelligent decision to hold off on a large scale production of the DDG 1000s when the threats were also changing significantly, as they continue to change today.

          The Zum class was conceived way back to the late 1980s near the end of the Cold War, when the DD-21 program began, which eventually morphed into the DDG-1000 class in 2001. When the DDG 1000 class was authorized a decade and a half ago, littoral bombardment of land targets was considered a primary role for future naval forces, since near-peer naval rivals essentially no longer existed. But as the terror wars dragged on, and China and Russia began to build up their navies, and by the beginning of the 2010s, it suddenly looked like near-peer naval warfare was a real threat again.

          The investment in the Zums will certainly not go to waste. The all electric power plant is what all surface ship designs of the future are going to use, because it enables the mostly likely and most effective future defense against ASMs, which are relatively cheap and effective EM weapons – railguns and lasers. Stealthy hull forms may also prove to be invaluable when ASM threats are increasing rapidly.

          It’s not revisionist justification to understand that the Navy made the right decision to curtail the class a few years ago, regardless of the original intentions decades ago. Stuff changes, and the Navy must change with it.

      • @USS_Fallujah

        Interesting to think that the Zumwalts might be viewed in the near future in the same way the Seawolf SSNs are, expensive yes, but extremely capable subs.

        • Duane

          Yes. Seawolfs were/are extremely capable, but not optimized for large scale production. The Virginia class benefited greatly from lessons learned on the Seawolf.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            I’d expect any FSC to include the 3 primary design features of the Zumwalt’s 1. Stealth/Tumblehome hull design 2. High (conventional) power production capability 3. All electric drive.

          • El Kabong

            “Seawolfs were/are extremely capable, but not optimized for large scale production.”?

            Please cite a reference or any official release by the Navy that says so.

      • El Kabong

        “The DDG-1000s are not necessarily overpriced.”?

        Dumbest comment today.

        • Duane

          You pay for ships by the ton, and by the capability.

          The cost of the DDG 1000 was about $3.5 billion, with a displacement of just under 14,800 tons.

          An Arleigh Burke Flight IIA Restart is being delivered today $2B, with a displacement of 9,200 tons. Ratio-proportioning out, the cost per ton for the AB is $217K per ton. The cost per ton of the Zumwalt is $236K per ton. A difference of less than 9 percent on initial cost. Of course, the Zumwalt was first in class, and first in class new ship types always cost a lot more than subsequent ships, typically by anywhere from 15% to 100% more than follow on vessels, depending upon how much developmental technology is involved.

          Long term, the Zumwalt is a much cheaper ship to operate than an AB. Standard complement is only 142 vs. nearly 300 for the AB .. primarily because it is very highly automated.

          As for capability, the AB provides a little less in some respects (80 cell PVLS vs. 96 cell VLS; and a more conventional multi function radar instead of AEGIS), but a great deal more capability in other areas (ability to deploy EM weapons, which the ABs cannot do; stealth, making it more survivable than the AB).

          So, no the Zumwalt is not “overpriced”. It is a different ship with a different mix of attributes. But if its combination of attributes and capabilities and size and so forth are too difficult for you to understand, that’s quite alright. We’ll understand.

          • El Kabong

            You didn’t need to take that as a challenge, but well done.

            “You pay for ships by the ton, and by the capability.”?

            Prove it.

  • delta9991

    Good to see the navy develop a further use for these vessels beyond just a tech demonstrator. While surface strike has fallen off over the past two decades and the primary striking power of the Navy still resides in the Carrier Air Wing, an effort like this is nice to see (even if only for 3 ships). Fully funding and developing the VL-LRASM can give real sea strike capabilities to these ships and others in the fleet. Couple that with HVP for their original land strike missions, these ships will have some real capability to bring.

  • FelixA9

    Then how about some ATACMs / Zombie in those bigger cells? Jesus, they could make these ships so they could control a metric f–kton of ocean. Why don’t they?

  • Ed L

    With the proper missile load out the best thing to do is letting the Zumwalt’s operate with just one or two SSN’s Fishing boat size radar cross section.

    • @USS_Fallujah

      Don’t even need the ASCMs if they can get the HVP to fire from their existing guns. They will need to provide some drones (stealthy too?) for ISR, but working with SSNs is a great idea too. A 600 HVP magazine putting guidable rounds out to 100 miles is a very useful capability…if they can make everything work of course.

      • Ed L

        How about a carbon fiber high attitude drone about the size of an Abatross that has helium in its wings and solar panels and can remain aloaf for days

  • tim

    Good to know the navy is flexible enough to see, what they have at last is not what they need, and to make changes as mission dictates and engineering warrants. Good job!

  • DaSaint

    Reminds me of the Long Beach saga. Regardless, load up 32 ASMs, and forward base them. After spending $22.5 billion on R&D and production, it appears that more money will need to go into them. SM2 and ESSMs have to be specifically modified to work with their radar system, which creates interoperability and logistical issues. Overall, there was too much reach for too many new technologies and systems, all in one hull, similar to the Ford class saga.

    BTW, it’s concerning when an official states “What’s exciting about this [is] we’re starting to create a repository of knowledge that we can use to reiterate as we need to go along,” Starting??

    “We’ve not done a good job of doing that in the past, it’s was kind of resident in the requirements officers and the acquisition team; now we’re actually doing it with the models – here’s what this combination of capabilities proves to get to us, and as we learn things or technology improves or costs more or less, we can make adjustments a lot more quickly.”

    Another poster the other day reminded me how much work goes into these program teams and how much is spent, which to him, validated why competition was not required in many cases. I’m not citing competition as a factor here, but the ‘system’ is evidently resident into too many requirements officers, and not data-based in a shared repository – and this is 2017!

    Finally, this quote concerned me: “We actually took some of the work we’re doing with Future Surface Combatant and brought that back (to the FFG Requirements Evaluation Team); we said hey, the Future Surface Combatant is about where we’re going with the whole family of ships, so if we’re going to be producing an FFG of the future that’s going to be kind of at the small surface combatant size, then we don’t want that to be disconnected.” So we thought the FFG Team had a pretty good set of requirements and now they’re going back to influence that? Mission creep starting already. And the ‘FFG of the future’ part is interesting. The FREMM, F-105s, and even the NSC are 15-year old designs, and the De Zeven Provinciën will be a 20-year old design by the time the first one is slated to enter service. Only the Type 26 is new, and I’m wondering if they’re tipping their hand on the selection preference.

    • sferrin

      What “Long Beach saga”? It was in service, and served with distinction, for decades.

      • @USS_Fallujah

        The USS Long Beach went though so many refits as they navy struggled to find the right role for her, originally she was supposed to carry a giant nuclear LACM amidships. I had a model of that when I was a kid…

        • Kelly J

          Long Beach was effective in her primary role (anti air defense) from the day she was launched. The model was showing the old Regulus program which was superseded by the Polaris missile system. A secondary plan for Long beach was to then carry 4 Polaris missiles (!!) but sanity prevailed and an ASROC launcher was installed instead. But her AAW suite always remained and was quite effective over her life (even after Talos left service she still carried the Terrier). Guns were added adhoc into the design only because the POTUS (Kennedy IIRC) questioned a Warship without guns. at the end of her life she got Tomahawk, Harpoon, and Phalanx…but that was happening as back fits to just about every ship at the time so it was nothing special in regards to Long Beach.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            She also had a very extensive radar refit and a very long (for the time) post-commissioning shakedown period – which is pretty much an inherent cost of any non-incremental ship design (and in the case of the USS Ticonderoga even when you’re using an existing hull design – bad superstructure cracking on early Ticos…).
            The issues with the Zumwalt (and the LCS to be honest) is that the NavSea’s lead time from requirements to RFP to Award to Production to Commissioning is SOOOOOO long that the requirements change before you get a ship to test with. The ships are generally well build to complete mission requirements that are no longer valid.

          • El Kabong

            What did all those extensive refits cost?

      • DaSaint

        She too was significantly over budget at launch, had several novel systems, including the precursor to Aegis. It was envisioned that there would have been a follow-on class of CGNs with Aegis, but it was deemed that it was too expensive to operate nuclear surface ships other than CVNs.

        And yes, she served with distinction.

        • NukeItFromOrbit

          I still think we should have gone with those new CGNs (CGN-42 class) instead of the CG-47s which are really just overloaded Spurance class destroyers. They would have had to undergone at least one nuclear refueling by now but they’d be easier to upgrade with new radar and electronics.

      • El Kabong

        Look at it’s original configuration and all the following rebuilds.
        What did the USN spend on her?

    • PolicyWonk

      Lets not forget, that the USN in its infinite wisdom, still considers the so-called “littoral combat ship” sea-frames to be viable options in the FFG contest (despite its resounding lack of success).

      • Duane

        What lack of success? There is no failure or lack of success. The Seventh Fleet commander just stated in an interview a week ago that he LOVES the LCS, wishes he had a bunch of them, and that they’ve proved especially effective in the littorals of the South China Sea – the world’s hottest hot spot for potential naval warfare.

        • Kelly J

          They’ve been especially effective of guarding the pier they get welded to when the ship breaks down for months at a time.

          • Duane

            LCS have been successfully deployed multiple times to the SCS, where they’ve managed to avoid getting rammed by merchant ships, disabling themselves, and killing 17 sailors, all while doing their jobs so well that Commander Seventh Fleet declared in a media interview a week ago that he loves the LCS, wishes he had many more.

          • El Kabong

            Cite those “successful deployments”.

            What EXACTLY was “successful?

            Did they engage in combat?
            Survive battle damage?
            Mine strikes?

            Missile strikes?
            Suicide attack?

          • Duane

            See the other article posted here on USNI about the return from a successful 18 month deployment of the USS Coronado in the SCS. Previously (in 2013) the USS Freedom conducted a deployment in the SCS, and in 2015 the USS Fort Worth also successfully completed a deployment to the SCS.

        • El Kabong

          What success?

          Cite your source, Duaney.

      • Secundius

        NOT US Navy’s “Infinite Wisdom”, but that of US Congress. Who DIDN’T even Consider a Replacement for the “Perry’s”, until AFTER they were being Decommissioned and/or Scrapped…

        • PolicyWonk

          The HoR’s (and taxpayers) were LIED to by the USN, specifically, the LCS Program Office, and the entire program designation is inherently dishonest: the so-called “littoral combat ships” were “never intended to venture into the littorals to engage in combat” according to the former CNO (Adm. Jonathan Greenert). These ships are not built to naval construction standards, and require a legal waiver to be commissioned into the navy.

          They never would’ve been funded if they were called what they really are: horrifyingly expensive admirals water-skiing barges (utility boats).

          The fault is that of the USN and the USN alone – though it is arguable now that the local contractors building these floating corporate welfare programs are employing people (thus making a few congressman happy) while failing to deliver value to the taxpayers.

          • Secundius

            Who ever said it was!/? The Designation “Littoral” is a Misnomer! It was NEVER meant to be a “Littoral” Vessel ONLY capable Ship, but a Ship “Capable” of Operating in “Littoral” waters. I knew that when I first Heard about the “Freedom” class back in 2010…

          • PolicyWonk

            Not entirely true. A brief look at the ONR’s streetfighter concept declares the requirement for a littoral combatant, which is what got the program funded.

            The LCS program was usurped by those who wanted a frigate, so they came up with a lousy sea-frame that’s too big for the littorals, poorly armed/protected, too small for decent blue water performance, and lacks room for growth to up-arm/protect itself.

            The USN is blowing $36B dollars on a so-called “littoral combat ship” that ignores every hard-won lesson learned about littoral combat, that isn’t a combatant (its not even built to the USN’s own Level 1 standard – the lowest standard a ship can meet and still be considered a US navy ship). As if that weren’t bad enough, NECC, the USN’s own littoral specialists, weren’t even included in the requirements gathering.

            Hence – all we’re getting are a bunch of commercial grade designs based upon either a car ferry or yacht, at a maximum price and non-existent ROI.

          • Secundius

            The ~45kts speed of the LCS was for the Allowance as a “Stalling Tactic” (when properly executed) for the Ship to Engage the Enemy. Until Larger Elements arrived to Carry the Fight…

          • PolicyWonk

            Hmm. The LCS program office itself once claimed the high speed was to allow LCS to dash back to base to get a new mission package installed if it needed one – but the reality is that they have yet to justify the high speed that adds a staggering cost and complexity to each of the sea-frames.

            The high-speed capability, for most of us, seems to be more aligned with the necessity to facilitate LCS running away when faced with danger from a real (peer) naval adversary.

            The LCS sailors (and officers) are only too aware that the ships they’ve (in many cases) been assigned to are all but unarmed/unprotected when compared to other navies ships of similar (let alone half the) tonnage. For example, a Skjold-class littoral/missile boat would clean LCS’s clock before LCS even knew it was in the vicinity.

          • Secundius

            USCG tried to order Ten “Freedom” class Boats back in 2013, to be Based in Mayport, Florida Naval Station. As High Speed Drug Interdiction Cutters,but the US Congress Turned Down the Request.

            They were also Considered as High Speed “Ambulance Ships”, “Perimeter Action Ships” and a “Special Forces Interdiction Vessel” (i.e. Small Fast LP[D/A]’s)…

          • Duane

            How would a Skjold class boat “clean LCS’s clock?” – it has the same OTH missiles as the LCS (Harpoons and NSMs), it’s radar is no more capable. It’s a silly exercise anyway, given that Norway is an ally. It’s all in all a silly chest thumping boast. All surface search radars are limited to the horizon. Except that the corvette lacks any aircraft at all, and it therefore has no airborne sensors, or other off-ship sensors, that provide OTH targeting data to any ASM system. It also has no NIFCCA or CANES networks to link in sensors from other platforms. The LCS, on the other hand, embarks 3 aircraft, including one MH-60 plus two MQ-8s, all of which are equipped with long range look-down/shoot-down AESA radar sensors, and is networked with CANES which is being integrated with NIFCCA.

            The LCS is every bit as lethal in SuW as any Arleigh Burke or Tico – actually, far better than the majority of ABs that lack any ASM at all, at least until LRASM is deployed in the next year or so.

          • Old Salt

            Let’s all sing along “When danger reared it’s ugly head, he bravely came about and fled, Brave brave brave Sir Robin LCS…”

          • RunningBear

            ….are we really going to go to war with Norway/ NATO or Finland in the foreseeable future?
            🙂

          • Duane

            You continually to intentionally misquote Adm Greenert’s statement way back in 2012 (long before “distributed lethality” was a strategy of the Navy, and long before development of the LCS was complete). Greener ACTUALLY said that LCS, inasmuch as they (at that time) lacked significant air defenses, should not venture into anti-access/aerial denial (A2/AD) waters without having protection from AEGIS DDGs or CGs. Which was true of every single ship in the US Navy that was not an AEGIS-equipped ship, including CVNs, non-AEGIS DDGs, amphibs, auxiliaries, minesweepers, etc, etc. etc.

            What has changed since 2012 is a huge heckuva lot – Greenert is long gone, the LCS has been equipped with an adequate own-ship’s air defense system (the EADS 3D multifunction radar plus SeaRam), and the LCS has alwo been equipped with offensive OTH ASMs. It’s called “distributed lethality” the strategy whereby the Navy now equips all of the fleet with sufficient defensive and offensive systems in widely dispersed platforms,rather than relying upon a limited number of CGs and DDGs for A2/AD defense. We’re putting SeaRams on amphibs, will shortly be mounting modified angled canister deck launchers on amphibs, even testing out Marine HIMARs launchers on amphibs.

            You’re misquoting a guy to make a point that is no longer valid.

          • A voice of reason

            I thought they were called the “Sir Robin class of Battle Frigates” LOL

    • Duane

      The “other poster” you refer to was flat out wrong in his silly assertion that competition does not work. I challenged him directly in the thread. Competition is a net plus for stimulating both technological advancement and cost control. It’s called the “free market”, and while defense spending will never be truly free, the more competition the better.

      • El Kabong

        Oh Duaney….

        You’re “challenged” daily.

    • NavySubNuke

      Glad to hear I was able to stretch your though process even if you didn’t completely agree with my conclusions — that is the entire goal of a debate after all!
      Have a great day!!

  • PolicyWonk

    The new emphasis on surface strike would make the stealthy ship more effective against other surface ships in blue water as well as closer to shore.
    ===========================================
    Well, the shore bombardment idea was less than smart, because supporting a land invasion (perhaps the least subtle military operation of all time) means everyone knows the ship is there (hint: its accompanied by a pile of non-stealthy ships). Unless all the ships in the fleet are stealthy, the hull shape/features of the Zumwalts are all but useless in fleet operations.

    So the next thing is anti-surface warfare? The Zumwalts, to cruise stealthily, have to be accompanied by other stealthy platforms (such as SSN’s, or our SSGN’s), if escorted at all. Other than that, the Zumwalt’s would have to be used as if its a submarine, patrolling mostly alone, doing recon missions, and/or taking out targets of opportunity if/when found.

    Without the high-tech/long-range/hyper-expensive ammo, the guns are considerably less useful than they might’ve otherwise been. I would guess these will be swapped out with directed energy weapons as soon as they become available, given the power generation capabilities of these ships.

    Its going to be interesting to see what duties/missions these ships will be used for, given the above.

    • @USS_Fallujah

      It looks like the EMRG is getting put on the back burner, but if they can quickly (and efficiently) develop a HVP to fire from those guns the ships could end up with as much, or more, capability from those guns than originally intended. A stealthy platform (that can deploy stealthy drones for ISR?) with the ability to carry 600 some rounds each with a range of a NSM/Harpoon would potentially be very useful is an environment like the SCS, Persian Gulf, Baltic or Black Sea…just to name a few.

      • Duane

        You keep writing that the railgun is on the “back burner”. Please cite a reference or any official release by the Navy that says so.

        • @USS_Fallujah

          I can’t post links here for some reason, but look at the front page item on RealClearDefense titled “Is the Navy’s Railgun dead?” or search at Gizmodo for the same article.

          • Beomoose

            Seemingly, this is about the funding crunch (gee, Congress, would you know anything about that?) and the fact that the non-ZUMWALT DDGs don’t have the juice for railguns. The Navy is having trouble keeping the cash in the EMRG just for 3 hulls, and the next generation combatant is not in any rush to get built (because money, again).

          • Duane

            Actually, no, the Zums DO have the requisite excess electrical power for railguns. It is the first all-electric surface warship, generating a total of 78 MW of electrical power. To fire the current generation of railguns requires about 25 MW of electrical power. While “steaming” at 20 knots, the ship produces a total of 58 MW for non-propulsion uses.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Beomoose specifically says non-ZUMWALT DDGs. Fitting the electrical storage hardware to support the EMRG into the Burke design is highly problematic, it’s already stretch to the limit (or beyond according to GAO) to accommodate power/cooling for the AMDR in the Flight III ships and back fitting a EMRG into existing Burke DDGs is also highly problematic, if not impossible. So right now we have only the Zumwalts as even potentially shipping the EMRG to sea.

          • Duane

            OK, I missed the “non” qualifier.

            The reason for being for HVP is to enable more variety fires for existing classes like the ABs. With EM-assisted chemically propelled shells, the excess electrical power requirement is less than for railguns.

            But, keep in mind that the ABs have nearly run their course. We’re now down to finishing the last Flight IIAs and producing a limited number of Flight IIIs. The LSC program – to replace not only the CGs, but to be the follow-on to the AB DDGs -will all be built with all electric drive and therefore be able to provide the power flexibility needed for all EM weapons … not just railguns, but also lasers, which are rapidly making progress with the development of the fiber lasers.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Hard to imagine a LSC Burke follow on or FSC program producing anything that will taste saltwater before 2040 in the current budget environment. I suspect we’ll be seeing Burke III (or IV!) and FFGs still being commissioned when the current sailor’s kids are manning the service.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            I’m not sure I really understand how the HVP works, I had assumed it was a sabot type round, but finding hard data on range expectations or detailed description is proving difficult.
            I’m especially curious how “scaleable” this is, can you easily create a round for a 155mm gun, 5 inch and 76mm (or even 57mm)?

          • Duane

            An HVP is defined by its aerodynamic design (i.e., favors velocity at the expense of mass, in order to create a kinetic projectile), but it can also be EM-assisted. The Army has been working on an EM-assisted tank gun that uses both chemical propellant as well as EM forces applied to the tank barrel. The round has to be of a proper design to function well from an EM perspective. Common to HVP rounds is the use of a smaller diameter saboted round. The larger diameter sabot is discarded upon exit from the gun barrel. That is also part of the design of the railgun.

            Railguns or HVPs are certainly scalable downwards, at the cost of range and kinetic energy at impact. So for instance, the current 32 MJ 155 mm railgun round could theoretically be downsized to say, a 127mm or even 105mm round, and instead of having 100+ mile range, perhaps half that.

            If the principal purpose of the railgun is to take out incoming ASMs – whether cruise missiles or ballistic missiles – then the reduction in range and kinetic energy at impact may not be much of a limiting factor at all. If, on the other hand, it’s envisioned as primarily an anti-ship weapon, then the reduction in range and terminal KE would make it much less effective.

          • El Kabong

            “The Army has been working on an EM-assisted tank gun that uses both chemical propellant as well as EM forces applied to the tank barrel. “?

            Please cite a reference or any official release by the Navy that says so.

          • Duane

            Range is a function of velocity, which is a function of motive force and of aerodynamic design and of projectile weight. All of which figures into the design of the system. As I wrote, the Army has been working for years, off an on, on EM-assisted chemically-propelled munitions for tanks, to get longer range fires. Basicallly, the Army concluded that it could not (at least a few years ago) develop a mobile rail gun on a tank because of the huge power supply required, but that an EM-assisted hybrid could be feasible. That R&D may feed into naval R&D for HVP, along with developments in projectile aerodynamic design.

          • El Kabong

            Please cite a reference or any official release by the Navy that says so.

          • NavySubNuke

            “But, keep in mind that the ABs have nearly run their course. We’re now down to finishing the last Flight IIAs and producing a limited number of Flight IIIs.”
            I know you pride yourself on willful ignorance and never being correct about anything but you really should the Navy’s 30 year shipbuilding program some time. Should you do so you will see that the Navy is going to keep building AB’s at 2 per year until 2030 when we begin to procure LSC’s.
            A 10+ year production run of 20+ ships hardly seems like a ship program that has “run its course” or is “producing a limited number”. Especially when you consider the SWO community’s recent string of failed programs there is no real guarantee that LSC will succeed and produce any ships never mind the planned number of ships.

          • El Kabong

            “OK, I missed the “non” qualifier.”

            You missed a LOT more than that.

            Please cite a reference or any official release by the Navy that says so.

          • El Kabong

            Please cite a reference or any official release by the Navy that says so.

          • Beomoose

            I agree with you, that’s why I said non-Z DDGs, in other words the ABs, don’t have the juice.

          • El Kabong

            Ignore Duaney.

            When was the last time you saw him back up his nonsense?

        • El Kabong

          You first Duaney.

          Or what is it you keep bleating?

          “I don’t have to prove what’s obvious.”?

          *snicker*

      • PolicyWonk

        600 rounds isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, unless your targets are pretty limited. Tactically useful – but not strategically valuable.

        We have 3 ships in the class, and now the USN is trying to figure out how to use them. At least, unlike the (still useless) LCS classes, the Zumwalts are built/constructed to be warships, so there’s hope for them (unless they prove too expensive for the USN to want to gamble away if the shooting starts, as a number of analysts believe will be the case).

        But for the stealth to be useful, the Zumwalts have to travel alone or in the company of SSN’s (or SSGNs), or some other stealthy platform(s), lest her location be just given away.

        These ships are (likely) going to serve (mostly) as test beds for the technologies we may apply in a new destroyer and/or cruiser class, just as the Seawolf SSNs did for the Virginia class.

        • @USS_Fallujah

          How is 600 rounds (actually may be a lot more, the magazine was intended to hold 750 LRLAP rounds so I’d assume the 155mm HVP would be significantly smaller and theoretically allowing for a deeper magazine. If that HVP can match the stated range of 5inch round (45-50m) then the HVP armed AGS could hit targets out to 60-70m, or about the range of a Harpoon ASCM.

  • @USS_Fallujah

    A lot of patting themselves on the back for a new requirements process that hasn’t actually produced a working ship yet. Also, in all this they say virtually nothing about how this will change the ships themselves (and at what cost!) or how the new role and capabilities will be used (or useful) in actual combat at sea.
    This is like coming home to brag to your parents that you finished the outline done for a term paper that was due last week.

    • Duane

      The Zumwalt is a “working ship”, delivered to the Navy and in service now as first in its class. Thus it has the obvious mission of developing and certifying its capabilities, such as using its electrical generating capacity for EM weapons. It also has an 80-cell VLS, so it is capable of conducting large scale land attacks with Tomahawks, or providing fires for area air defense, and the Zum is equipped for ASW.

      Too much emphasis is/was placed on the LRLAP system, which has been abandoned. It’s quite likely that the two 155 mm guns will get swapped out for railguns, which are getting close to development … within 2-3 years.

      • @USS_Fallujah

        Sadly it looks like that 2-3 year EMRG plan is dead. I still think they’ll get there, but I think they see better value (especially in the current budget environment) with moving forward with the HVP and save the EMRG for the FSC (if that ever really happens). I understand from friends at Dahlgren that there are still lots of engineering issues with the EMRG that need to be worked through, I assume that means the rail wear issue, but it could be lots of other small issues we aren’t aware of yet.

        • Duane

          According to a post on DefenseTech in July, Dahlgren’s spokesman reported that they’ve been experimenting with various alloys for the rails and increased the life from tens of shots to over 400 shots as of this year, and were making good progress to in excess of 1,000 shots per barrel by mid-2018, which is comparable barrel life for other large naval guns.

          • Rob C.

            I guess they should either try put what they can have into large production run or swallow expensive barrels for the guns if that’s the case. If anything get’s into serial production, the costs go down. If they ever test the guns in the first place.

            Spearhead ships were suppose to be used as test platform, but their too in demand to be used.

          • El Kabong

            There’s an old adage in defence procurement.

            “Never buy the “Mark 1″ of ANYTHING.”

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Your info is out if date. It appears the Navy is likely abandoning its railgun R&D efforts in favor of using conventional weapon with extended range projectiles.

            Do search on articles written in December 2017. Specifically “Is railgun dead?”

          • Duane

            A single media musing does not reverse 20 years of R&D that is already delivering strong positive results, as described in the July article.

            Note that there are still lots of media posts claiming that the F-35 is about to be cancelled, and that the LCS is about to be cancelled. Google eitherof the above and millions of media articles are still making obviously BS claims repeatedly, as part of “If I wish it strongly enough, it must be true” fake news.

          • El Kabong

            Pot, meet kettle.

            “A single media musing does not reverse 20 years of R&D…”?

            “According to a post on DefenseTech in July…”

      • Kelly J

        So how long did FFG7, DD963, CG47, DDG52, CVN68 and a host of other “first in its class” ships have to hang out and “develop their capabilities?” Oh, that’s right…they were built with specific missions in mind using already proven technologies and were capable of carrying out those missions from the start.

        • @USS_Fallujah

          USS Ticonderoga had a pretty long shakedown period before it’s first operational deployment, and that was using a well proven hull design so she had fewer mechanical issues to work through (though the early Ticos also had terrible superstructure cracking). USS Seawolf also had extensive post commissioning shake down period, and the USS Ford is far from it’s first deployment too. It’s an inherent cost of non-incremental ship design and program development.

          • El Kabong

            All new designs have flaws and defects to work out, true.

            Don’t forget the Tico’s packed a lot of cruiser equipment into a destroyer hull.

          • Steve

            USS Ticonderoga conducted her first deployment one year after commissioning.

        • Matt Gurgel

          I think you overstate the point. When DD963 was first delivered, her armament was limited to a pair of 5-inch guns, ASROC, over-the-side torpedoes, and a helicopter. That’s it. She was an effective ASW platform, but lacked any significant ability to defend herself from air attack or missile-armed surface platforms, and did not become a well-balanced combatant until the addition of NATO Sea Sparrow and Harpoon (not to mention Phalanx, a tail, Seahawk, and VLS, all later in her career). The early FFG-7s had only a marginally effective hull-mounted sonar and a pair of Seasprite helicopters for their primary ASW role when they were first delivered, but became much more effective once SQR-19 and Seahawk were introduced on later hulls in the class. In both cases, the Navy knew these technologies were coming (at least most of them), and the ships were designed with room for growth. For all its current flaws, I’m optimistic that Zumwalt has similar room for growth (and electrical generating capacity) to enable it to take advantage of future developments. Far too soon to write the book on this ship.

          • El Kabong

            What exactly was available for weapons and helicopters when those ships were launched?

        • Duane

          You completely whiffed on the point. If the ship class is based upon off the shelf technology, there is no need to go through one or more development classes.

          With ships that DO depend upon developmental technologies – such as the first SSNs, SSBNs, and CVNs – then it would be stupid to launch a large class of ships without having the technology proven first.

          The Zums already have several well defined missions – but sadly this post mentioned none of them. Land attack (via TLAM, and its successor missiles); ASW; and SuW. The only mission that was deleted was artillery support of ground attack. Not only did LRLAP become too expensive when its fixed costs were to be spread across a very small 3-ship class (although that’s questionable too, since the point of the Zum class was to develop new tech for future ship classes, whether they were to be Zums per se, or a follow-on class of LSCs), but long range ground based fires by the US Army and Marines are making that mission less relevant today.

          • El Kabong

            You completely whiffed everything.

            Stick to cheerleading the LCS.

      • El Kabong

        So now you’re cheerleading the Zumwalts?

        What about the Little Crappy Ships?

        • Old Salt

          sir duane already did his LCS propaganda quote of 12,000 words for the months, so now he has a lot of time on his right hand (for other more important things)

  • Duane

    This post is rather unnecessarily vague about what exactly the Navy has in mind for the DDG-1000s with the recent failure of the LRLAP munition program. Not sure why they don’t come out and declare some pretty plausible outcomes:

    1) Use the electrical generating capacity of the power plant to power EM weapons like railguns and directed energy weapons, which have always been part of the mission for these ships. These weapons have applications not just in surface warfare, but also in anti-missile warfare, along with surface to ground fires.

    2) Use the ships as technology demonstrator platforms, to prove out other emerging technologies for potential application to the surface fleet, including stealth design, perhaps new sensors, and other efforts not yet even conceived.

    • @USS_Fallujah

      The EMRG looks like it’s being put on the back burner (my guess is the rail wear issue still hasn’t been resolved, but who knows – could also be power generation/storage if they wanted to include them in future Burke DDGs or retrofit them, so if you only have 3 viable platforms until the 2030s…) and the HVP that was intended for the EMRG looks like it’s capable enough to fill a large portion of that niche without having to build a whole new gun system and can quickly (and affordably?) include them in all existing gun systems. If the accuracy and range of the HVP are to be believed it will significantly reduced the number of NSM/Harpoons needed on surface combatants as the HVP COULD fill 80% of that role leaving weight/space for longer range strike weapons like Tomahawk/LRASM or more cells dedicated to SM-6 for AAW and ASCROC for ASW.
      So much left to be worked out….

      • Duane

        Actually, no, the rail gun is anything but “on the back burner”. The Navy recently report that the rail wear issue is now resolved, and is moving forward on deploying the rail gun on an ship for sea testing. Quite likely that will be some other platform initially, until the final design of the gun and its supporting systems are ready to mount on the DDG-1000. It is clear that the DDG-1000 will be the threshhold platform for the railgun when it is ready, sometime in the next 2 to 3, maybe 4 years.

        • Secundius

          There’s an article in today’s “Task and Purpose” publication, where the “Rail Gun” May NEVER become ready…

          • Duane

            Just like there were like ten million articles posted on the internet that said the F-35 was going to be abandoned.

          • Secundius

            The Current Problem is with the Rail Gun Aperture/Barrel. Every time a Projectile is Fire, the Aperture/Barrel acts like a “Magnesium Fire Striker”. The Inner Barrel Lining is Stripped Away after each firing. Current Lifespan of Barrel is a Few Dozen Rounds Fired (less then that of a WWII 16-inch Gun, ~390-rounds). Us Navy requirements is ~3,000-rounds “Minimum”. Until a New Magnetically Conductive Alloy for the Barrel is Found. The Gun is DEAD…

          • Duane

            Nope – according to the Dahlgren spokesman in a media interview in July on DefenseTech (you can Google it – they don’t like links here at USNI), he said the barrel life at that time was up to 400+ shots, and the development team expects a barrel life of greater than 1,000 shots within a year – that would be July 2018. They’ve been experimenting with varying allows to get the optimum design.

          • Secundius

            I’ll believe That Story when the US Navy “Actually” starts Mounting Rail Guns on US Navy Ships…

          • Duane

            You can say that about every developmental weapons system or platform that was ever created … until it’s either a reality, or is abandoned. There were plenty in the Navy who said just that about Admiral Rickover’s nukes, criticized him every step of the way, until he and his team did it. Ditto with aircraft, then aircraft carriers, then jet aircraft, then supersonic jet aircraft … then …

          • Secundius

            The French built the First Rail Gun in 1918, and the Nazi’s again in 1939. In Both cases it was a Matter of “Sheer” Power that was Required to Power the Gun, of ~16,000hp Continuous. And the Only thing Available was a Ship’s Steam Boiler Steam Turbine. A “Wee Bit Big” to be Hauling on the Battlefield at the time…

        • @USS_Fallujah

          Sadly I think the report is correct, the Strategic Capabilities Office is backing off the EMRG test plan to put emphasis on the HVP instead. I don’t think this means the EMRG is dead by any means, but I think the idea of one being fitted to DDG-1002 is dead.
          That said I’m very curious to see what a HVP fitted with the existing Zumwalt gun system is capable of. If a HVP fired from an existing 5inch mount can increase range from 13-15 miles to 45-50 miles that what can a gun designed to fire larger projectiles much farther can do.

          • Duane

            According to Dahgren’s own spokesman in a post in DefenseTech in July of this year, he reported that the barrel wear issue was resolved by experimentation with various alloys. Increased barrel life from tens of shots a few years ago to over 400 shots this past summer. The spokesman said that Dahlgren expects barrel life to exceed 1,000 shots within a year (summer of 2018), which is comparable with other large naval guns. The Navy still intends and expects to deploy the railgun on the Zums by no later than the mid-2020s.

            The point of the HVP programs is to come up with longer ranged projectiles on ships like the Arleigh Burkes that lack the large electrical power plants of the Zums. In the future, large SSCs will all incorporate the large electrical plants.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            That sounds nuts. What’s the barrel life of a Mark 45 5 inch gun? Pretty sure it’s not anywhere near 1000 rounds, or even 400 to be honest.

          • Duane

            The barrel life of the 155mm “long tom” guns was 1,500 rounds, after which it loses accuracy. The US Navy 8-in gun used on cruisers prior to development of the CGs was 750 rounds per liner. The barrel life of the US Navy’s 16-in guns used on the Iowa class BBs was 290-350 rounds.

            1,000+ rounds is certainly comparable with that.

          • Secundius

            As I recall, Barrels of “Long Tom’s” Weren’t Chrome Lined either…

          • El Kabong

            Please cite a reference or any official release by the Navy that says so.

            For once.

        • El Kabong

          Please cite a reference or any official release by the Navy that says so.

          Back up your claims, Duaney.

    • Refguy

      Not sure how rail guns and DE weapons apply to surface warfare at BVR ranges.

      • Duane

        The rail gun rounds will need to be precision guided rounds, just as the LRLAP rounds were precision guided. As such they can be provided initial targeting guidance, then receive mid-course guidance enroute, and apply terminal self guidance (mm wave radar, IR, or passive RF, or some combination thereof) to hit the target.

        • Refguy

          Where do the initial targeting and mid-course guidance info come from? Rail gun rounds are a lot smaller than LRAP projectiles and were originally envisioned a dumb rounds. How do we pack all the required electronics navigate receive updates and home on targets in a small round and make the round and the electronics survive the temperatures associated with hypersonic speeds. They will cost as much as LRAP rounds and be less effective against most targets (pretty much anything with less armor than a WWII heavy cruiser).

          • Duane

            See my response to Fallujah above.

            As for size BAE recently developed the 57mm Mk 295 “ORKA” precision guided round, using a bimodal seeker (passive IR or laser designator), guaranteed 1 meter accuracy up to 9 miles (the range of the Mk 110 57mm naval gun used on LCS, the USCG national security cutters, and warships of 18 other nations). So miniturization is not an issue, as these rounds are significantly smaller than the saboted 155 mm rounds used in the naval railgun. As for withstanding the G loads of firing, it’s likely that the smooth continuous acceleration of a railgun imposes considerably less physical stress than the explosion of a common chemical propellant gun.

            I am not sure what was “originally envisioned” for railguns decades ago, but precision guidance is absolutely necessary for BVR … how the heck could any round be fired at any but a stationary (ground) target from BVR and expect to hit the target? Even for stationary targets, the round has to be able to correct for targeting resolution errors which become huge at the terminal end of a 100+ mile fire, plus windage.

            And besides the most threatening targets are moving targets anyway – whether surface ships, cruise missiles, aircraft, and even ground based missile batteries which, anymore, are nearly all mobile launchers.

            Putting a two-way comm and targeting package on a HVP round or railgun round is already standard design.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            my understanding is that the HVP does NOT have internal guidance, but IS guided externally. Thus it is a guided munition, but more akin to first generation SAMs than modern ASCMs.

          • Duane

            Whether the HVP uses exclusively external guidance, or a combination of internal and external guidance (as do most of the current generation of PGMs do), it is still “guidance” and requires a comm system and a guidance/seeker system.

            As I wrote, industry (BAE, anyway) has already successfully miniaturized the seekers on the Mk 295 ORKA round. It is a combination (internal/external) seeker, with passive IR and laser guided. It would not take much more to add passive RF (homing in on defensive radars) or to go mm wave radar. The SDB II bomb – a 208 pound air dropped glide bomb – incorporates a tri-mode seeker in a very compact package (diameter of the SDB is only 7.5 inches. It uses laser guidance, uncooled passive IR, and mm wave radar.

          • Refguy

            Every thing you say about the need for precision guidance and off-board targeting and updates is correct; the issue is packaging it in a hot, dense penetrator. IR seekers have been shown to work for exoatmospheric intercepts of reentry vehicles, but I’m skeptical of their ability to look through the plasma associated generated by a hypersonic projectile and see a comparatively cool target. I would welcome clarification of this issue form a physicist.

          • Duane

            There’s been considerable progress in the development of passive IR sensors in recent years. For instance, the SM-6 surface to air missile has a max speed well into hypersonic range (M10.2) and uses a multi-modal seeker including a passive IR sensor. That’s actually significantly faster than the M6-7 velocities of the railgun projectiles. The BAE Mk 295 ORKA round uses an uncooled passive IR seeker, in addition to its laser seeker, and it operates at a muzzle velocity in excess of Mach 3.

          • Refguy

            Yes, but IR seeker is looking at a reentry vehicle, not at something much cooler than the SM-6.

          • Duane

            I don’t believe there is any “reentry” involved with railgun projectiles – they are not exoatmospheric projectiles, at least, not a ranges no more than roughly 100 miles. If someone could propel a projectile to Mach 10 or Mach 20, perhaps it would go exoatmospheric and then experience a reentry. But not at Mach 6-7 muzzle velocity.

          • Refguy

            I was referring to the SM 6 seeker. It’s designed to see a reentry vehicle against a cold background, not a relatively cool target at sea level while mounted on a hot hypersonic projectile and trying to look through a bow shock wave and plasma. Independent of speed, max range involves a trajectory with peak altitude about one-quarter of the range (simplifying assumptions: vacuum, velocity much less than orbital velocity). Edited to correct peak altitude!

      • @USS_Fallujah

        As with any OTH weapon you need ISR assets to cue, and in this case provide mid-course guidance, but reports imply the HVP will provide about the same accuracy as a Harpoon class ASCM out to ~100m. Never been field tested vs moving targets so salt to taste…

        • Duane

          Yes,exactly, Fallujah. In many a thread here at USNI commenters have asserted some rather silly things, such as that only an AEGIS equipped ship can handle OTH target sensing … betraying obvious misunderstanding that AEGIS is an air/volume search radar that only detects high altitude aircraft or missiles at OTH ranges, but that surface search radar only reaches to the horizon, no matter what kind of sensors are on the ship.

          ALL OTH fires at surface or low-flying targets require off-ship initial targeting data – from an airborne aircraft deployed from own ship (such as an MH-60 or a MQ-8 drone) … or from a non-deployed aircraft with appropriate look-down/shoot down AESA radar (like a Super Hornet, F-35, F-16, P-8, etc.), perhaps from a satellite … along with (for moving targets) mid-course correction data from same. And then terminal guidance comes from the munition itself.

        • Refguy

          Maybe, but what’s the lethality compared to Harpoon? Rail gun rounds are a lot smaller than LRAP projectiles and were
          originally envisioned as dumb rounds. How do we pack all the required
          electronics to navigate receive updates and home on targets in a small
          round and make the round and the electronics survive the temperatures
          associated with hypersonic speeds. They will cost as much as LRAP
          rounds. As noted in other fora, HVPs are effective against a small target set (tanks), not thin-skinned vehicles or area targets. Still don’t see the use of DE weapons BVR.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Velocity kills. When you hit a target at 2,000mph+ you don’t NEED explosives, or a heck of a lot of mass. I also understand it was (is?) equipped with a small charge to break up the round just before impact (making a bullet a shotgun shell) to disperse that force over a larger area, thus you don’t just punch 3″ holes all the way through the enemy ship.

          • Refguy

            It depends on what you hit. Most of the damage caused by the “darts” fired by an M1 tank is from the shattered armor wreaking death and destruction inside the turret, not by the penetrator. The same penetrator hitting thin metal would go in one side and out the other. Interesting fusing problem; traditional AP rounds and bunker busters use a time delay to explode after impact. A traditional proximity fuse (what you describe) was problematic at high closing rates. BTW, 2000 mph is less than 3000 fps; a lot less than the muzzle velocity of the 120mm gun on an M1.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            This is also an interesting math question, what is the total force expended on a harpoon (for instance) when a 1500lb missile (minus expended fuel) and a 488lb HE hit a target at ~500mph? A 2kg tungsten slug traveling at ~3000m/s has a kinetic force of 4.5M j/kg (#s from wiki, so salt to taste).

          • Refguy

            The question is not the relative energies; it’s how much energy is transferred to the target.

    • DaSaint

      I agree! It seemed as if they were saying ‘We’re lost, but trying ro figure it out!’

    • El Kabong

      Please cite a reference or any official release by the Navy that says so.

  • Kelly J

    When you use that many buzzwords in a single article you can boil the entire thing down to: We screwed this thing up and now we have to figure out what to do with it.

    • PolicyWonk

      An astute observation. The original mission has largely been rendered obsolete – so now you have a very expensive platform thats all dressed up with nowhere to go. Now the “wedding planners” at the USN need to figure out what kind of party the Zumwalts can attend, and/or where they can deliver some value.

      • Duane

        Actually, no, the Zum was ALWAYs conceived as a multi mission warship, those missions being land attack (both guns, and TLAMS – which are still fully operable), ASW, and SuW. None of those missions have been abandoned .. all that has been abandoned is one specific weapon system of which the Zums have two, and the land attack mission remains.

        Way too much emphasis in this post on a single weapons system, forming only one part of one mission set. Indeed, the original concept of using a pair of 155 mm guns for large scale land bombardment never really made tactical sense anyway. The lethality and range of a 155mm shell is very small compared to even an old tech LAM like the Tomahawk. Tens of miles of range vs. 1,500 miles of range… 24 pounds of bursting charge vs. 1,000 pounds. And the new upgraded Tomahawks, per a contract just inked with Raytheon, will be used to provide an improved seeker capable of all-weather targeting of moving targets, far more precise than the GPS/INS guidance of LRLAP.

        Basically, the 155mm guns with LRLAP were a non-starter from the beginning, but it’s taken the Navy Zum program managers quite a few years to admit what they should always have known.

        • El Kabong

          Replace them with Little Crappy Ships, right?

          • A voice of reason

            Great idea El, since the LCS can go into the ‘littorals’ we can drive them up onto the beach and they can spray the enemy with their mighty 57mm guns. We’ll only load them up with 30 or 40 rounds, that’s all they’ll need with their one-shot-one-kill ability-saving a lot of money in the process. It’s good the LCS has finally found it’s purpose

          • El Kabong

            Might as well use them for something. 😉

  • RTColorado

    Excuse me for not quite grasping the full context of this article…but it sounds like the Navy has realized they spent a bazillion dollars of the Zumwalt class of a total of three ships that have no real mission. I can understand developing a “one off” experimental ship designed and used as a “testing platform” for future technologies, three of them at the price we’re paying is a bit much. If the US Navy was operating in the “black” and had money coming out of their wazoo, but the Navy is cash strapped and is literally begging Congress for more money. This is not the way to run the Navy. A different article suggests the magical “Electromagnetic Railgun” program (MSRP $500,000,000) is…wait for it…off the rails and that maybe the ammunition developed for it might be the way to go. I served ten years, but even die hard supporters are beginning to have doubts about the military’s ability to do much of anything except wreck and crash.

    • @USS_Fallujah

      Real procurement reform is desperately needed. The issue here (IMO) is that the development time from identifying requirements to AoA to RFP to procurement to building to commissioning and then shakedown/testing is so long that the requirements have changed so dramatically and in addition the technology you want included has also advanced apace and you’re constantly building ships a generation behind.

      • RTColorado

        I suspect that you know infinetly more about the subject than I do. I’ve had limited experience with government contracts and the little experience I’ve had prompted me to avoid government contracts. What I do know a lot about is taking a multi-million dollar project from design, through construction, to installation and operation…and the Navy has a terrible track record. My perspective is not as a contractor, but as a taxpayer. I don’t mind paying taxes, I don’t mind spending on defense and I understand that not every project is a success and that “lemons” are part of the process of achieving success, but there comes a point that any reasonable person can ask “What are you people doing?”. We’ve past that point and are close to lapping ourselves and beginning to seriously doubt the capabilities of the Navy. The Department of the Navy has made several doubtful choices, particularly in the LCS and DDG-1000 programs, but these two are not the only bad choices, just the most obvious. Unfortunately, the Navy has been plagued with mishaps, accidents, and just plain old fashioned malfesience; so much so it’s ability to conduct even routine operations are being called into question.

        • @USS_Fallujah

          I only hope that everyone involved in the SC21 Program has been frog marched out of the service, preferably after being tarred and feathered. The “opportunity loss” with the LCS (vice a true FFG SSC), DDG-1000 (vice uninterrupted DDG-51 construction) would equal something like 20-25 more ships currently in commission.
          Future naval construction should focus on incremental material/engineering improvements, open architecture design and maximum leveraging of commercial Off-the-Shelf technology (COTS).

          • RTColorado

            It’s discouraging when the failures outstrip the successes. The US Navy is/was a great service with undoubted mastery of the oceans…until lately. Now it’s the butt of jokes regarding it’s “sea keeping” abilities; it’s procurement practices and decisions have shaken the confidence of the public and makes us leary of continued requests for more taxpayer funding. I’m afraid that the only hope for the Navy is to take up piracy and becoming “self-funded”.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            I’d say the Nimitz, Virginia and Burke Class destroyers are great examples of how things can work. Ford, Zumwalt & LCS being prime examples of some of the pitfalls that exist when trying to leap ahead in capability or reshape fleet design. Ultimatly I think all three will be valuable contributors to the fleet, but only the Ford will perhaps ever meet the lofty expectations attached to it.

          • RTColorado

            and I’d say you’re absolutely correct…I still think there’s a lucrative business in piracy for the Navy and with both ends of the spectrum covered the Navy could corner the market.

          • El Kabong

            Sea Wolf wasn’t a stellar example, either.

            I was recently flipping through a book on destroyers/frigates.
            Gearings, Sumners, OHP’s etc, and I’m amazed at how things have gone off the rails regarding the size and price of something that’s supposed to be simple and plentiful.

    • PolicyWonk

      “it sounds like the Navy has realized they spent a bazillion dollars of the Zumwalt class of a total of three ships that have no real mission…”
      ===================================================
      Bingo. You can now come to the front of the class and collect your star for the day!

      In all seriousness, the reason for the Zumwalt class seems to have passed it by, and it doesn’t seem like its original purpose was all that well thought out to begin with.

      This is why our DoD acquisition process needs to be extirpated and replaced with a system that analyzes known threats and determines the necessary weapons and force structure required to defeat them.

      • RTColorado

        Thanks, stars are good.

  • RobM1981

    What round does a Zumwalt fire from its AGS, now that the LRLAP is canceled? What range does this new round have?

    Surface engagements are currently handled primarily by SSM’s, like Harpoon and Tomahawk. Harpoon reaches out to 70 miles, or more. Tomahawk reaches out for much longer distances.

    A Burke DDG can carry more of these SSM’s than a Zumwalt can. It can also ship ABM-capable SAM’s, at the same time. I’ll concede that the 5″ gun has shorter range (a bit over 10 miles, effectively), but it certainly has a high rate of fire. For close range engagements, “in the littorals,” a Burke has all of the gun that it needs.

    What is the AGS offering that is so much better than a Burke? Our primary potential adversaries are developing and deploying long range, very fast (hypersonic, even) SSM’s. I’m not sure that they are looking to engage at gun range, even with long range AGS munitions.

    I hope that the Zumwalt’s are *very* stealthy, but that’s classified. Still, a hull that large can only be so stealthy.

    I would have preferred this being a one-hull experiment. Right now, we have a three hull “thing.”

    But that’s OK. It’s only taxpayer dollars. Why waste them on a better torpedo or SSM when we have two LCS designs, the Zumwalt, and the F-35 to play with?

    • @USS_Fallujah

      Right now there AGS has no rounds to fire, which is the biggest part of this whole redesign. In theory the HVP will be created to fire from this system (which will require some significant retooling I assume), but if a 5inch HVP has a range of about 50nm then what can we expect for a 155mm round? I recall some talk of using a version of the USA’s Excalibur round, but haven’t heard that mentioned anywhere recently.
      Assuming a 155mm HVP round is developed the gun system in this SuWA role would fill the capability of a NSM/Harpoon, but with a magazine about 75 times deeper.

      • RobM1981

        Good reply.

        I hesitate to support the development of this round, if only because we’ve been burned enough with this kind of thing. With only three Zumwalts, each with a magazine of a few hundred rounds, the cost per round is going to make them unbelievably expensive.

        Since our adversaries are focused so highly on longer ranged, higher velocity SSM’s, there is the question about whether a 70 to 100nm engagement envelope should be our primary focus.

        • @USS_Fallujah

          In theory, the cost of the HVP shouldn’t explode like the previous plan. Regardless of the size of the gun used the components are just the sabot and guided round allowing maximum commonality with the huge number of rounds they intend to purchase for all the 5inch mounts across the fleet. The intended price point is $25k per round so even if the price blows up you’re still looking at a cost per shot miniscule compared to firing ASCMs at anything less than ~75nm away, plus a enormously deep magazine depth (perhaps 90x larger!) compared to the number of NSM/Harpoons any ship could carry.

    • @USS_Fallujah

      You are also absolutely right that to fully leverage the Zumwalt’s stealth you need offboard ISR, but that’s true of any surface ship. OTH targeting requires offboard sensors, so operating drones from the Zumwalts, networking with E-2Ds, SSNs, P-8s or BMS are all ways to get the target data to the Zumwalt which can (theoretically) fire it’s HVP armed AGS or ASCMs without exposing it’s position.

      • RobM1981

        I was having a different thought about the Zumwalt’s, about their overall size. Stealthy or not, they are physically very large.

        While armor, and such, are and should be classified, I have to wonder about just how vulnerable they are to damage. A single hit, even in a non-critical area (if there is such a thing) might not sink them, but it would certainly send them to a long period of repair. Unless we believe that a modern naval conflict would be a multi-year thing, that effectively removes the asset from the OOB “permanently.”

        As an experimental platform, it’s fine. But if we are looking to deploy for modern naval combat I’d think that smaller versions should be developed.

        • @USS_Fallujah

          For all it’s tonnage if you look at a picture of the Zumwalt next to an Independence class LCS the DDG’s profile is surprisingly small. Add that to the stealthy design and the enemy has a very difficult target to detect or track.

  • Rob C.

    They should slap the rail guns on the next ship coming out to test it out since the 155mm are no use or just plain put more VLS launchers on her so they become the CG that were cancelled in the first place.

  • NavySubNuke

    ** Pats Duane on the head ** Whatever lies you have to try to make up to cover for being wrong and refusing to admit it —- yet again —- are fine with me sweetie. As I said, I realize you pride yourself on willful ignorance.

  • Secundius

    Donald Trump proposed a 350-Ship US Navy in 7 September 2016. But “The Federation of American Scientists” proposed a requirement of 355-Ships for the US Navy back in March 2015…

    • Duane

      And as of today, Trump proposed a Navy shipbuilding budget that only supports the 308 ship fleet, stating about the 355 ship Navy, “that’s for next year”. Except that next year, Congress will be dealing with another $1.5 trillion hole in the budget thanks to the “tax reform” that was passed by both houses of Congress last week, now awaiting final conference reconciliation. The chances of a huge buildup of naval forces “next year” when the money simply is not there are approximately less than zero.

      • Secundius

        Also considering that the 2011 Sequester “Doesn’t” end until 2021 and Takes-Out another ~$1-Trillion USD…

        • Duane

          Yup, that too. However, since 2014 both Republicans and Democrats have managed to cooperate to relax the BCA limits at least to some degree, though not fully, in a give and take of Washington dealmaking. However, given the current ram-down by Republicans of their so-called “tax reform” giveaway to their wealthy donors, coupled with eliminating the underpinning of Obamacare (i.e., the coverage mandate), it’s quite likely that the Democrats will refuse to cooperate with the GOP and then run on it in next year’s Congressional election. Even if it leaves the USA under-defended. I’m not saying that’s the right thing to do, but I think it is a highly plausible outcome. The GOP have burned their bridges and now they are going to have to live with the consequences. Unfortunately, our national defense is likely to suffer.

          • Secundius

            When has the US Military NOT Suffered!/? Even in WWII the US Military “Suffered” by Getting what it Needed to Fight the War. But NOT getting the BEST to Fight the War…

          • El Kabong

            Having “the best” isn’t a guarantee of victory.

            Look at those “best” fighters and tanks the Germans had and look at the “good enough” the US and Russians used.

            Better, is the enemy of good enough.

  • Duane

    I’m not admitting to that which is not true. Tell me, “NavySubNuke” – on how many patrols you served on a Nuke SSN did your boat to tow the deployed towed array at flank speed while sub hunting? Tell me the number.

    I can tell you the number of times it happened on my boat – zero.

    Anyone who knows the slightest bit about ASW knows that flank speed is the speed at which the ASW vessel creates the maximum own ships noise, masking any submarine noise signature one is trying to detect and track.

    • El Kabong

      Tell me, “Duane” – on how many patrols you served on a Nuke SSN did your boat to tow the deployed towed array at flank speed while sub hunting? Tell me the number.

      What boat were you on?

      What was your trade?

      • Duane

        I served on a 637 class SSN during the Cold War in the 1970s during numerous patrols over my four year tour, our boat set the all time naval record as of then for most days continuous tracking of a Soviet SSBN, using our towed array, and no, we did not do any ASW tracking at flank speed, which would have of course given away our presence. I was a reactor operator, fully qualified on submarines.

        What did you do that makes you the expert?

        • El Kabong

          LMAO!!!

          Ever sub needs a janitor.

  • NavySubNuke

    Duane pointing out you were wrong to say that: “Towed arrays cannot be towed at flank speeds, period” is not meaningless hair splitting, period. If you really don’t want people to point out when you are wrong you should not make ignorant and easily disproved statements. If pointing out when you tell lies while trying to look competent makes me a troll in your eyes than that is a badge I will happily wear with honor.
    Of course, as always with you, you aren’t even using the term “troll” correctly. You should look up what a troll actually is some time — you keep using the word but it is clear you have no real concept of what it means.
    Finally, I realize you are upset that I pointed out you were wrong and your fragile ego won’t let you admit to it since you went all the way to the point of questioning my dolphins for pointing out your ignorance but that doesn’t make it hairsplitting.

    • El Kabong

      Pointing out Duaney’s lies and nonsense is easier than clubbing baby seals.

      • NavySubNuke

        I’ve never done it so I can’t be sure but I strongly suspect you are correct.
        It (pointing out his lies and nonsense that is) does at least serve a purpose of preventing him from corrupting those new to the board who haven’t realized what an ignorant blowhard he is yet. Like the poor guy who was trying to learn about ASW and Duaney is feeding him likes about how you CAN’T have a towed array out at flank speed. **face palm**

        • El Kabong

          Yeah, now he’s claiming to be an engineer.

          “Licensed degreed engineer with 35 years professional engineering, design, and project management experience…”

          True, for those new to here, they don’t know about his history.

          Luckily there are folks like you here to sort it out.

          Have a good day, sir.

    • Duane

      You cannot tow towed arrays at flank speed and conduct ASW. As I wrote, you intentionally ignore the context of the entire thread in order to nitpick about something that does not matter. Nobody cares but you.

      • NavySubNuke

        Liar.
        What you actually said was “Towed arrays cannot be towed at flank speeds, period“.
        I am not ignoring the context of anything — you are the one who ignorantly wrote “period” as in “in all circumstances” even though there are plenty of cases where you might drive at flank with a towed array out.
        I realize you wrote that statement out of willful ignorance and your ego won’t let you admit you are wrong but that doesn’t change the fact that you are wrong. Because it does matter Duane — it does matter when you ignorantly tell someone blatantly false information in a false attempt at making yourself look intelligent or competent. If you don’t want me to point it out then stick to saying things that are actually true.

  • El Kabong

    Answer his question, Duaney.

  • El Kabong

    Please cite a reference or any official release by the Navy that says so.

  • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

    Hmm: a stealthy warship focused in sinking other warships. Sounds like an attack submarine only a little more expensive.

    This perhaps begs the question why we didn’t just build more Virginia’s instead.

  • Secundius

    Sounds like an “Armored Cruiser”! Heavier than a Heavy Cruiser and Lighter than a Battlecruiser…

  • NukeItFromOrbit

    It needs that supersonic LRASM-B to go with the the LRASM-A now in the works.

  • El Kabong

    Maybe, just maybe, you could back up your spew for once.

  • Taxpayer71

    Designed specifically to counter enemy surveillance and targeting, DDG 1000 is a unique addition to the surface fleet. However, the tactical exploitation of the “stealth” capabilities of this class requires consideration of the highly uncomfortable prospect of operations with active emitters such as the radar in standby, trusting that the “stealth” capabilities of the ship will deny or dramatically delay detection and targeting by the enemy.

    With active radars, data links and network communications in standby DDG 1000 will be totally dependent on its passive sensors and near real-time intelligence and sensor information from external sources delivered to the ship via broadcast methods. Based on this tactical situational awareness information the commander will have to decide whether and when to transition from standby to full active defense when tactically advantageous. The alternative to this concept of operations is for DDG 1000 to operate like its non-stealthy counterparts with data links, radars, and network communications operating as just another combatant in the networked force exploiting little of the potential advantage of its reduced signatures.

    The article did not describe the composition of the Zumwalt Requirements Evaluation Team and the extent to which operational/tactical experts in counter ISRT/signature management/tactical situational awareness were involved. That leads to the question of where in the Navy organization would one find such experts?

  • Gen. Buck Turgidson

    That boat will scare the enemy

  • Marcello Gusberti

    Against surface ships, and with what weapon? 0,7 mach Tomahawk, 0,9M Harpoon or the less than 4-meter long NSM?
    Even a less than 1000 tons russian Corvette atually carry better anti-ship missiles than those.

    • Secundius

      SM-6 can also be used as an Anti-Shipping Missile…

      • Marcello Gusberti

        My dear, i regret to have to inform you that actually not any version of Standard missile that can be employed from Mk-57 VLS modules,
        Use of an AA missiles in ASuW role it is not a novelty but is however quite a desperate measure, they have not a sea skimming mode, need illumination/ midcourse guidance and they are rocked propelled so absolutely not efficient at very low altitudes.

        • Secundius

          Since 2015, the US Navy has been Looking Seriously at the SM-6 as a Suitable Replacement for the Harpoon as an Anti-Shipping Missile! Keep in mind that the Convair RIM-24 Tartar (later General Dynamics RIM-66A, SM-1) was used as a Stand-In Anti-Shipping Missile in 1971…

  • nobody

    FXXK!! With 055 destory, China did the thing right, again……………..
    Now, look our fancy, expensive DDG1000……

    • Secundius

      How would that be Exactly?/! To use British Fighting Sailing Ship Rate System, the PLAN 055 class is a Second Rate compared to the USN “AB” class Third Rate…