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No New Round Planned For Zumwalt Destroyer Gun System; Navy Monitoring Industry

Guided-missile destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) arrives at Naval Station Newport on Sept. 8, 2016. US Navy Photo

ARLINGTON, Va. — A year after the Navy decided to abandon the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) for the Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer, there is no plan in place for a replacement round for the Advanced Gun System (AGS) the ships are built around, service officials said on Wednesday.

Instead, officials at Naval Sea Systems Command and the Chief of Naval Operations staff will monitor new technologies that could be incorporated into the BAE Systems-built 155mm AGS.

“There is not a plan now for a material specific solution for the replacement round. We continue to monitor industry’s development and technical maturation,” former USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) commander Capt. James Kirk, who now works at the Navy’s surface warfare directorate, said at the annual Surface Navy Association symposium.
“An example of that is the hypervelocity projectile. We’re monitoring that technical maturation to see if we get the ranges and the capabilities that’s the right bang for the buck.”

The Navy canceled a planned buy of the 2,000 rocket-assisted Lockheed Martin LRLAP rounds that were custom-designed for the AGS system that was set to be the heart of the Zumwalt class. However, the cost of each round rose to about $1 million and proved too costly for the service. In 2016 the Navy was moving toward modifying the Raytheon Excalibur guided 155mm artillery round to fill the space of the LRLAP, but the service has since scrapped those plans.

On a visit to the ship in 2016, program officials told USNI News the unique low-twist nature of the AGS barrel would make the modification of the system accommodate a new round a difficult proposition.

With no new round on the horizon and the fielding of a hypervelocity projectile possibly a decade away, the focus of the ship will now be on long-range surface and land strike missions, Kirk said on Wednesday.

Last month, director of surface warfare Rear Adm. Ron Boxall told USNI News the Navy had decided to reinvent the destroyer from a platform that would support troops ashore with AGS to a long-range anti-surface warfare platform.

“We’re always watching industry to see what will come up as the best opportunity, but the big thing now is the requirement that the Navy has – as you can understand, the threats always changing,” DDG-1000 program manager Capt. Kevin Smith said at the SNA event.
“This is a multi-mission ship, and so there’s a lot of things this ship can do.”

An artist’s conception of the Long-Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) fired from a Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG-1000). BAE Systems Photo

In addition to the AGS, each ship in the class fields 80 Mk 54 vertical launch system cells that are capable of fielding the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile, Standard Missile-2 and the anti-air Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM), Kirk and Smith said. The pair would not confirm if the ship would eventually field the SM-6 but said there would be additional clarity on the changes in the class as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 budget submission expected in February.

Currently, Zumwalt is in the midst of a combat systems activation period after transiting from shipbuilder Bath Iron Works to Naval Station San Diego, Calif.

“What I can tell you is, while it’s not going as rapidly as we wanted, we thought it was going to go, being the first-in-a-class ship, first-in-a-class combat system, there’s a lot of things we’re working on,” outgoing commander of U.S. Surface Forces Vice Adm. Tom Rowden said on Tuesday at SNA.
“I am very very pleased with the performance of the crew, the performance of the commanding officer, and the great work that’s being done on the ship every single day. We’ve got to get DDG-1000 ready, and we’re taking our time to do that, and we’re focused on making sure that when we get her out and start executing the combat system activation portion we’ll do that very well.”
It’s unclear if the changes proposed to the class will delay the planned first deployment of Zumwalt, currently slated for 2021.

The second ship, Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001), is near completion and set to be delivered this year to the Navy before traveling to San Diego. The third ship, Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002), is set to deliver to 2020. Combined, the Navy has spent about $23 billion on research, development and acquisition of the three-ship class.

  • Desplanes

    Super. A $4 billion arsenal ship with 80 cells.

    • Curtis Conway

      Sad state of affairs when looked at from ‘that point of view’. The other side of the argument is valuable operational experience will come from operating these new all-electric hulls. More Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) vessels should be in our future. The loss of one tanker could be the difference between success or failure in an entire AOR. Today, many commanders have only one solution, when there is a huge excess of energy on the ship that is not used, just thrown away. Well, in the future when your life depends upon it, this short sightedness will come home to roost, and then . . . it’s too late.

      • PolicyWonk

        Good points. While not able to deliver much value now, it is my hope that the Zumwalts will end up similar to the Seawolf class (discounting the fact that while expensive, they are successful): the lessons learned from the Zumwalts might garner us highly successful new classes of destroyers/cruisers, along the model of what the Seawolf design did for the Virginia class SSNs.

        • Curtis Conway

          One hopes we start with FFG(X) and the hull-type (thin icebreaking capability), and the propulsion system. Then SWaP-C is the name of the game with future upgrades.

        • Curtis Conway

          The FFG-500 proposal was of your mindset. Unfortunately, we don’t have time for that (e.g., FFG(X)).

    • Duane

      Well, it still has the largest ship’s electrical plant in the fleet, other than the Ford class, designed particularly to support EM weapons like railguns and lasers. Those weapons are making rapid progress towards operability, with Dahlgren anticipating IOC for the railgun in 2020. It may very well be that, if the railgun proves out, the Navy will simply exchange the 155mm guns out for 155 mm railguns (they’re designed explicitly to replace the existing guns on the Zums).

      • RTColorado

        Interesting….didn’t know that. So, essentially the Zumwalt Class Destroyers may mount a railgun by 2020 ?

        • Secundius

          One problem though! Rail Guns are being Delayed for Foreseeable Deployment. Guide Lines for Naval Rail Gun is for Barrel Lifespan of ~3,000-Rounds, current design is less than 300-rounds…

          • Duane

            They hit 400+ rounds last summer, Dahlgren say they expect to get to 1,000 + rounds by this summer. That’s plenty enough for a feasible railgun – that’s significantly more than the barrel life on our big gunned World War Two battleships (less than 300 rounds) and cruisers (less than 800 rounds).

            So you keep a couple of spare rails on board .. big deal. The vast sums of money saved by warshots at $25K apiece vs. $1-2M a missile, and the fact that the ship can easily – and much more safely -store thousands of rounds in the ship’s magazines, vs. maybe 96-122 missiles in tubes that cannot be reloaded at sea, make this a vastly more cost effective and feasible anti-missile solution than anti-missile missiles.

          • Secundius

            STILL not the Goal Though! Is It?

          • Duane

            You don’t know what you’re talking about. The goal this year is 1,000 + shots. There is no “requirement” or contract. Don’t you understand? This is the US Navy Dahlgren gunner research center doing technical R&D. They are not contractors – they are the Navy.

          • Secundius

            Still 2/3rd’s SHORT of the Requirement…

          • USNVO

            Last I checked the Railgun is an ONR demonstration program. As such, there are no requirements, only goals. Until it transitions to an acquisition program of record, which it hasn’t done yet, it is just an R&D program.

          • Secundius

            Rail Gun to be used on “Zumwalt” in 2023, is Suppose to be a 64MJ Rail Gun. Current Rail Gun being Tested at NSWC Dahlgren is rated at Only 10MJ. “Baby Steps”…

          • allbuss84

            They’re using a 32 MJ railgun for testing at this point, up from the previous 20 MJ model.

          • Secundius

            OK! “Frederickburg.com”, confirms is as of 16 November 2017. Thanks…

          • Secundius

            Ok! “Fredericksburg . com” confirms firing of 32MJ Rail Gun as of 16 November 2017. Thanks…

          • Duane

            There is no “supposed to be” for adoption of technology developed during R&D. There is only research, development, and results, which are never known going in. There may be “wants and desires” if the technology development is to be useful, but until the R&D is done nobody knows how useful the technology will be.

            What we do know is that Dahlgren has made enormous progress in the railgun program, to where they are now confident of having an operable system capable of firing 155mm projectiles (the outer dimension of the sabot round, with “submunition” inside the sabot being somewhat smaller in diameter) out to distances of approximately 100 nm, at “muzzle” velocities in the range of Mach 7.

          • Secundius

            What was the Original Specification for Rail Gun usage aboard the DDG-1000, “Zumwalt”…

          • Duane

            There is no such thing as a “requirement” in an R&D project. There are no contracts, with R&D you don’t know going in what is achieveable, or how to achieve it. “Requirements” are relevant only for contract awards from RFPs.

          • Secundius

            “IF” Requirements ISN’T in the R&D? Just place a “Dynamite Gun” on Instead…

          • Secundius

            The Contracted Requirements is ~3,000-rounds! NOT 400-rounds, that’s a 75% reduction of the Required Goal…

          • Duane

            You don’t know what you’re talking about. There is no “contract” first of all, because Dahlgren IS the US Navy, its gunnery R&D center; they’re not not a defense contractor. They are developing a new tech gun system. They don’t have to meet an arbitrary 3000 round level that Secundius, in all his wisdom, has declared. They are quite happy to hit 1,000 + shots by this summer, and within a two years therafter achieve IOC (with probably somewhat higher rail life).

            You do realize that all long range naval guns, capable of firing more than 15-20 nm, have barrel lifes but a tiny fraction of your invented 1,000 shots. The 16 inchers on the Iowa class were only good for 250-300 rounds. The big cruiser guns (8 and 10 inchers) were only good for 700-800 shots. The range on the 5-inchers, which are mere pop guns, may be around 3,000 rounds but they only reach out to a paltry 13 nm, as compared to in excess of 100 nm for the railguns … they’re simply nowhere near comparable guns.

          • El Kabong

            All we need now is for Duaney to say they’ll be installed on the Little Crappy Ships…

          • navuscomd

            About 400-rounds lifespan: it is unclear what exactly do they mean by this. In particular, if it calculated for full-energy shots or just many low-energy shots.
            Besides, it is not clear if the rail’s surface might have been re-honed after a few shots:

            “It’s not effective if you are having to replace a barrel or re-do the rails after 10 shots,” Rear Adm. David Hahn, the chief of naval research, told reporters following his address at an industry conference in Arlington, VA. Hahn noted the high heat generated by railgun firings can warp and erode the gun’s structure.

          • Secundius

            Consider the Current Rail Gun like a Magnesium Fire Striker!/? Scrapping Off Pieces to Start a Fire. The Current Alloy’s used in the Aperture/Barrel of the Rail Gun, Shave-Off part of the Barrels Lining. Every time a Tungsten Carbide Projectile is Fired. After about (Current Projections) of ~400 rounds, SO MUCH of the Barrel Liner is Shaved-Off that the Rail Gun becomes Usless. And has to be Replaced, which would require the Ship (DDG-1000) to return to Base for a Barrel Replacement. Because it CAN’T be done at sea…

          • Duane

            400+ rounds was what they (Dahlgren Center i.e., the Navy Surface Warfare R&D center) reported up last July, on their way to 1,000+ rounds. Replacing a rail at sea is a far less dangerous operation than attempting to reload a VLS. A rail is just a piece of metal, no propellants or warheads or sensitive targeting or comms or computing systems to damage as with a cruise missile or anti-air missile.

          • Secundius

            And “Exactly” how long has the US Navy been “Actively” using Rail Guns as a “Primary” weapon at SEA…

          • Duane

            Full energy shots. 400+ by last July, when Dalhgren last gave a public media interview on the subject, stated they expected to hit 1,000+ shots within a year (half a year from now). They’ve been experimenting with various alloys and physical configurations over the last several years to get to the desired rail life. They are confident they’ve got it figured out now.

          • navuscomd

            “Full energy shots.” – what is your source? Because the ONR did not confirm that:

            In a March 2014 statement to the Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, Chief of Naval Research Admiral Matthew Klunder stated, “Barrel life has increased from tens of shots to over 400, with a program path to achieve 1000 shots.”[74]
            However, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) will not confirm that the 400 shots are full-power shots.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railgun

          • navuscomd

            “Full energy shots.” — what is your source?

            “In a March 2014 statement to the Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, Chief of Naval Research Admiral Matthew Klunder stated, “Barrel life has increased from tens of shots to over 400, with a program path to achieve 1000 shots.”[74]
            However, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) will not confirm that the 400 shots are full-power shots.”

          • Duane

            Just google Dahlgren Center and railgun – multiple articles were posted last July.

          • tiger

            “big deal?” It is already a $4 billion DDG.

        • Duane

          We’ll see. Dahlgren claims to have already resolved the principal technical challenge of a feasible rail gun, which is the issue of rail wear. The early guns could only do a few tens of shots without having to replace the rails. Dahlgren claimed in July last year that they had a solution, had already extended the rail life to the 400s range, and were on track by a year later (this summer) to exceed 1,000 rounds, which is comparable to the barrel life of larger historic naval guns (like the 8 inchers on our heavy cruisers in WW Two). They’ve already been able to meet the other major spec for the guns, which is the ability to maintain 10 rounds per minute.

          We already know that the Zums have the necessary excess electrical power generation – about 25MW over what is required for propulsion at normal cruising speeds and hotel loads. The HVP rounds have been undergoing testing, whether launched by rail guns or chemical propellant guns, with regard to the targeting systems, as these will all be precision guided projectiles.

          Just imagine 10 rounds per minute, precision guided, from two guns on board a Zumwalt, firing $25K projectiles able to take out incoming ASCMs and ASBMs, with effectively an unlimited magazine (unlike our guided missile ships that are limited to what they carry in their VLS tubes, with each shot costing millions).

      • tiger

        Great….. We charge a lot of cell phones but can not fight even Old Ironsides.

  • Desplanes

    Maybe they can park an LCS in the bow and use its 57mm.

    • John_In_Michigan

      The Zumwalts seem to have a never-ending list of problems.

      • Rob C.

        It’s because cost making it’s equipment went through roof when serial production was shutdown to limited production. Costs were suppose to have been kept down by spreading it out over the years. That all got derailed when class was cut down from 30 to 7 to 3.

        I think their better off just converting the class into Guided Missile Cruisers, at least they still have technology make it work. The LX are suppose to be fitted with VLS to fire Tomahawk and other ship-to-shore missiles. So gun support has basically been phased out, Zumwalt unfortunately is on the tail end of a cut off logistic supply chain of cancelled weapons.

        They’d properly need US Congress to get over themselves politically bite the bullet to pay for conversion to the ships into something more useful. Rail gun thing isn’t happening either so that another angle they can’t use the ship for either.

    • Adrian Ah

      Why spend $1m for a 57mm gun, when you can spend $550m for a 57mm gun. Has it’s own helipad too.

      • Desplanes

        Plus, if the LCS is out of the water, the water can’t hurt it.

    • John Burtis

      Grossadmiral Desplanes – has a nice ring to it. What a sad end to the most expensive warship for it’s size on the planet. They could sink these three dogs and create reefs and save the embarrassment from their future breakdowns and attendant tows and employ their crews on other viable vessels.

  • totalitat

    So does it have any round it can actually fire?

    • WCOG

      No.

  • Duane

    If the gun itself is not compatible with other available rounds, then what is the cost to remove the gun, or at least its non-standard barrel, and replace it with a standardized gun barrel?

    • Desplanes

      I don’t believe it’s only the gun barrel. I thought the munition handling system was only compatible with LRLAP rounds.

      • Ctrot

        But only the barrel defines rifling twist, and the article states that twist is the issue. Surely a round that fits the dimensions of the handling system can’t be too hard to build.

        • DaSaint

          If the gun system was modular, they would have been able to take out the entire system, and maybe replace them with VLS. But no, that would have made sense.

          • sferrin

            And they did that with the Mk45 right? (BTW the original AGS was modular.)

          • DaSaint

            Modular systems are nothing new. It’s a matter of whether you spec it or not. Blom & Voss’ MEKO did this extensively as far back as the 80s.

          • Duane

            I don’t think it was ever the intention to replace the two 155s with more VLS cells. Rather, it was always the Navy’s intention to eventually replace one or both chemical propellant guns with railguns. The Navy built the hugely oversized high voltage powerplant expressly to support the railgun, but they also know that (at the time when the Zums were authorized( that the railguns was somewhere between one and two decades out. With R&D and emerging technology, you can’t put a hard date on anything.

        • Desplanes

          I understand what the article says. I read in the past, probably on USNI, that there are aspects to munitions handling that are particular to the LRLAP. i.e. there is additional work before introducing another 155 round.

    • thebard3

      I don’t think there is a single solution. Whatever changes are applied would require repurposing the gun for a single round. Ammunition handling and fire control system changes would be necessary to convert to a conventional (or the Exacaibur) round. I don’t really know anything about the FCS, but I’m sure there is not a simple modification for that. Then the current inventory of LRLAPs would have to be scrapped, adding more to the already large cost overruns (or more money wasted, as it were).

  • Ed L

    Only 2,000 rounds for three ships roughly 660 each? How many rounds can each ship carry 300 -400? How many rounds will be need for reloads on a couple of ammunition ships 200.? How many rounds will be kept at naval weapon stations like Yorktown NWS. 500?

    • SDW

      Given the size of a round (88 inches long), magazine capacity, no less size, is not like that of a “normal” naval gun. It is reported as 300+ rounds but the proportion of the internal volume dedicated to the AGS magazines has got to be huge. You are right about pipeline rounds held at weapons stations and forward deployed replenishment ships. I have doubts that replenishment of ammunition underway is even possible given their size.

      • Secundius

        Thinking out load! Ammunition could be place within a “StanFlex” Module not exceeding 15-tons in weight. And Air Transported by Sikorsky CH-53K’s to Ship. Where an Ordnance Elevator could be employed to Fill, Top-Off or simply replace Empty Munitions Magazine. “IF” magazines are Configured to be Modular in Configuration and “Hot-Swapped” with Fresh Reloads Magazine/Modules…

  • Desplanes

    OK everybody, what do we do with front end of the DDG-1000s now ? Serious and non-serious suggestions welcome.

    My idea: Use the Tomahawk ABLs from the Iowa class battleships.

    • Mark Tercsak

      1. Fire those in charge of this program and I mean starting with Congressional and Senate Leadership, then moving on down and make sure these turds wind up where the belong pushing a, broom.
      Short term there is no fixes, long term we have to look at these 155 mm guns and what the maximum velocity is , and can it be a simple fix of replacing the barrels with ones that have new rifling that would improve the velocity , or do we have to replace the whole gun and that will have larger chambers.
      It seems to me our Navy is a little confused on what direction it wants to go.
      We need to settle the argument for them , the ships crews come first, they are indispensable, that means providing the best armored protection possible, weapons that can provide the most destruction possible, yes the 155 mm is an improvement over the 5 in gun,
      But these ships should have been built with 8 in guns or even 12 in. Guns.

      • Secundius

        The Original “AGS” Technically “Had” Rifling, but not “Spiral Rifling”. It was a “Horizontal Rifling” that ran the length of the gun tube. Essentially Cut Rails into the Barrel for the Firing of the LRLAP. New Gun Design by BAe/Rheinmetall GmbH is the “MONARC” (MOdular Naval ARtillery Concept) 15,5cm or Navalized PzH.2000. Which has a Uniformed RH 1:20 Twist Rifling in the Barrel…

        • Mark Tercsak

          Thank you for the technical information, so what the U.S. Navy has is a 7 inch, 155 mm, aka 15,5 cm land artillery system and not Naval Ordance.

          • Secundius

            Not exactly! The “MONARC” is a Navalized Version of the Rheinmetall GmbH. PzH.2000 15,5cm Autoloading Howitzer. The Dutch proposed and Tested the Concept back in the late 1990’s. When the US Navy’s “AGS” went Bust, the US Navy took a Second Look at the Dutch/German “MONARC” Gun System. Initial tests proved the system to be Reliable and probably could be adapted as a Replacement for the “AGS”. The MK. 51 (USN) version of the MONARC comes in two versions, the Mk.51 and the Mk.51L. The Mk.51, is a 108-ton Gun Mount with a “Waterjacketed” Barrel for higher Sustained Rates of Fire (10-12 rpm). While the Mk.51L is a Lightweight 54-ton Gun Mount, rated at between (6-8 rpm) which can be used on the Tico’s and Arleigh Burke’s. And still be able to fire ALL types of 155mm Projectiles in service with NATO, Austria, Sweden, Finland , South Korea, Japan and South Africa. There’s probably a few I left out too…

    • Duane

      The best use would be if the railgun proves out, which will be determined within the next coupla years, then replace the 155mm guns with railguns, and then use the Zums to provide anti-missile protection for CVNs and CSGs. With the rapid proliferation of anti-ship missiles and the eventual capability of enemies launching large salvos of such missiles that existing ant-missile defenses get overwhelmed, the ability to shoot virtually unlimited numbers of precision guided HTK projectiles that are quite cheap ($25K per round, vs. $1-$2M per anti-missile missile), this may become the savior of the entire CVN fleet in the 21st century.

      If we don’t develop the railgun, or perhaps laser weapons capable of mass precision counterfires, we could find our entire fleet of CVNs have become the sitting ducks that our World War Two BBs became.

      Battleships will be every bit as useless in SuW today as they were 75 years ago. Their achilles hel remains vulnerability to air attack. Unless we can devise an effective counterfires shield, all surface warships are at risk of obsolescence in 21st century warfare.

    • Chesapeakeguy

      Put phasers and photon torpedoes forward. Move the transporters to the quarterdeck!

  • RDF

    Park an Abrams on the bow. Rcs be dammed, full speed ahead.

    • Curtis Conway

      Follow the German Model (PzH-2000 155mm howitzer on the bow). It actually worked well, it was just not marinized equipment. If the DDG-1000 is to support landings, two turret mount circles for the new M1A3 gun (marine version of XM360E1). It will be marinized and handle salt air exposure.

      It’s a step down, but it’s programmable with HVPs (and all NATO ammo, including programmable projectiles) on the horizon.

      • Secundius

        As I recall, the XM360E1 only has a Effective Range of 12,000-meters. Using Smart Projectiles in a Indirect Fire Support Role…

        • Curtis Conway

          I was just musing out loud, probably dangerous for me. There should be an article on the rounds that ARE available to the 155mm aboard ship. I’m sure they will outperform the 120mm smooth bore on the Abrams Tank. However, if we were to entreat the idea of a mobile landing fire support base-ship, multiple M360Es down the side of a large surface combatant operated by Marines, and using the same equipment, ammo, comm circuits and procedures would probably provide significant help.

          • Secundius

            As I recall, in Vietnam they were referred to as LSMR’s or Landing Ship Medium, Rocket. Usually consisted of 1 or 2 Mk.12 5-inch/38-caliber Gun Mounts and Unguided Rocket Launchers…

          • El Kabong

            “I’m sure they will outperform the 120mm smooth bore on the Abrams Tank.”?

            BIG difference between an artillery round and a tank round.

    • Duane

      Ha ha. Even if RCS were not a factor, the effective range of the Abrams is only 4,400 yards, or a little over 2 nm, just a little more than the Mk46 30mm naval gun. Pretty much any naval gun we have larger than 30 mm has an effective range of 10 nm or more.

      • Horn

        He was joking. You do realize he was joking, right?

        • Duane

          You do realize that the first two words in my response were “Ha ha”, don’t you?

          SMH

          • El Kabong

            You do realize no one takes you seriously, right?

          • Ed L

            The British experiment with putting the turret from there tanks on the deck of fishing boats to help in the attack against Hitler landing barges when and if they approached the coast

          • El Kabong

            The Russians did it, also. T-34 turrets for the most part on patrol boats, minesweepers, etc.

          • Duane

            You wish.

          • El Kabong

            Shoo troll.

            Project 1124 patrol boats used T-34 turrets, Duaney.

  • johnbull

    This may be an even bigger fiasco than the LCS. A four billion dollar warship that has a fancy new gun, but no bullets. Between congress and navy planners we really screwed this one up.

    • sferrin

      So fix it. It would still be billions of Washingtons cheaper than going back to a clean piece of paper. (And that’s not to mention the TIME factor.)

    • Mark Tercsak

      Fixing Congress is fairly simple anyone who has been there more than two years vote them out of office.
      The Senate anyone there six years vote them out of office.
      All Ivoy leaguerers vote these mother xxxkers out , we our Trillions of Dollars in Debt, because
      Of them, Republican and Democrat.

  • Bubblehead

    The Zumalt ship, just like LCS, is another casualty of Obama sequestration. The Navy was in desperate need of more ships, and didn’t have any $$$, and the worthless LCS coffin was born. The USN was in need of a new destroyer with stealth and AESA and the DDG1000 was born. But after sequester there was no money, so they stripped the ship of all its systems & radars, and cancelled all the other ships. Then the USN made another boneheaded decision to put their new radar on an upgraded AB. For the $$$ they are spending on putting the SPY6 on AB, it wouldn’t cost anymore to put it on a DDG1000 type hull. Building more AB is very shortsighted and short term solution. There is no more growth in the ship. It can’t handle growth for the future weapons of Naval Warfare Laser & Rail Guns.

    Put the SPY6 & AEGIS on DDG1000 hull, with a next generation X band horizon radar & illuminator and you have what you need to defeat Near Peer. And for gods sake put a CIWS on it.

    • sferrin

      This ship is really what is needed to replace the Ticonderogas but I’ve yet to see anybody articulate it in an article. I’ve seen lots of frantic dancing around the Tico replacement problem though. It’s not too late to save the Zumwalts. This is purely a management issue, not technical. The Zumwalts, as ships, were exactly what’s been planned going all the way back to DD-21/CG-21 in the 90s. To throw them out now would be a colossal waste of resources, and we’d STILL need a Tico replacement.

      • Guest

        Guys… why are you bashing Obama here. This program began in the late 90s/early 2000s. The number of ships was cut down in 2008. Construction on the first ship began in 2008. I agree it’s BS that the Navy built a ship class around a gun and a munition that didn’t exist yet (and now may never exist), but it is not a Democrat/Republican thing, in my view.

        • sferrin

          It’s a matter of resources (the politicians control the purse strings). The whole “build around a gun that didn’t exist” notion is a red herring. The ship wasn’t built for the gun, the gun was built as the next generation to replace the Mk45. A new destroyer and cruiser hull was needed. This was it. The opportunity existed to give the DD more land attack capability so they took it. The AGS would have went on WHATEVER hull was to follow the Burkes no matter what they looked like.

      • Refguy

        You do understand that sunk (no pun intended) are irrelevant – as lawyers put it, past consideration is no consideration.

    • El Kabong

      Uh-oh…You might invoke the wrath of our local LCS troll…

    • Duane

      It’snot quite so simple as you suggest. The DDG1000 was designed to cruise inshore in the littorals to provide long range ground attack fires. That was the basis for making it a “stealth” ship, so as to make it indistinguishable on radar from the ubiquitous coastal fishing vessels. The stealth design imposes very heavy costs – not necessarily dollar costs, though that is a factor too – that require compromises in other areas of vessel design. The two large 6-in guns are useless for SuW, because since the 1960s guided missiles have become the only useful weapon for SuW between large surface combatants. Removing the guns now would be a costly change to make, but there might at least be a possibility of retrofitting a larger set of VLS cells rivaling that of the Ticos … but it’s not necessarily clear that such a retrofit would work since the guts of the ship beneath the gun mounts might make that a difficult and expensive, if not impossible retrofit.

      Now there is one area where the Zumwalts could provide a game changing capability: if and when the Navy is able to field its long-developed rail guns, and replace the 155s with railguns … then the Zums could provide a truly awesome air cover for CVNs and the CSGs with highly capable, and very cheap, missile-killing hit to kill projectiles. The Zums already have the electric plants to do just that.

    • @USS_Fallujah

      This isn’t just about sequestration, the LCS and DDG-1000 are both outgrowth of SC-21, wherein the USN completely lost site of what it’s purpose is and decided in order to get it’s fair share of slop at the trough to become a land support force instead of a sea control force, and when the tides shifted and near peer adversaries popped back up (surprising no one but them!) they found they had two major shipbuilding programs with no realistic remaining purpose.

      • PolicyWonk

        It is rather curious that the USN would build an entire class of ships around a gun system, reduce the number of ships to three, and only years later determine that the ammo for the gun was too expensive. At least the ship has tons of power generation capability for directed energy weapons when they’re ready.

        W/r/t to LCS: its most useful purpose is as a corporate welfare program. Victory: the boardrooms of the recipients, and our potential adversaries. Losers: US taxpayers and US national security.

        • @USS_Fallujah

          I doubt either LCS shipbuilder has great profit margins on the program, and really it’s not their fault, aside from engineering issues related to the pointless 40kt speed requirement, the ships more or less do exactly what they were designed to do, the problem is that the mission module and manning concept they were designed to are completely unworkable, and in the mean time the threat matrix and strategic environment they were designed to operate in has completely changed. Add that to the foolishness of trying to build the ship first and develop the modules after, and with so many new technologies, was asking for a disaster.
          Long story short, don’t blame the builders, NavSea needs to own this mess themselves, this was a strategic blunder, not just a programmatic problem.

          • Duane

            Uhh, no. The mission modues are completely workable. SuW is already officially in service as of last year, with the Navy announcing earler this week that they plan to complete the OTH missile procurement before July, arming LCS with BETTER OTH missiles than on any other US naval warship in the fleet today.

            The development of the ASW module is nearly complete, just awaiting completion of the first production units which were contracted last fall .. anticipated to go IOC later this year. And the MCM module is about 80% complete, expecting it to go IOC the following year (by the end of FY-2019), in plenty of time to start retiring the old minesweepers that are scheduled to begin retirement in 2020. Every thing works in both the ASW and MCM module – it’s just a matter of completing the integration and manufacturing steps.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Love ya Duane, but’s just not the case. First off I was referring to the module system and the interchangeability which has been scrapped. Next the SuWa module is not in operation, and lite version is installed on a few ships for their trial deployments, but it’s nothing like having the actual SuWa system in place with the Hellfire missiles, it’s coming, but to call the existing module an operable SuWa package is laughable.
            The OTH missile isn’t even part of the actual SuWa package, but an additional indigenous capability intended to be added too all (or at least some) LCS regardless of which module they eventually carry.
            As for the rest, even if the ASW & MCM modules arrive on this new schedule and meet the requirement, the best we’re doing is saving the LCS from being a complete waste and we must look honestly at how the program has come about to avoid this kind of mistake again.
            Eventually the USN will get good use from the 32 LCS they’re “stuck” with, but that should in no way cloud our memory on all the mistakes that got us to this point.

          • Duane

            No, sorry Fallujah. The Navy declared SuW IOC last fall. It is operational.

            The modules are not scrapped at all, The only thing that changed was the frequency of module changeouts. The original intent was that the mission modules would literally be changed out after every mission. The Navy learned that changing out 1/4 to 1/3 of the crew after every mission really hurt crew readiness and integration, which is especially important with minimal manning. So the modules will still get changed out – not after every mission, but more than likely, depending upon mission requirements, changed out at major maintenance availabilities every few years.

            The motion of modular space itself is a humongous success, because for the first time in naval history, ships are not consigned to whatever equipment was extant at the time they were built, and then stuck thereforever more unless a major hull mod is made in a once in a lifetime overhaul. Modularity allows frequent technology and systems refreshes as threats change and technology evolved.

            This is much the same as the F-35, the first warbird ever built on the concept of modularity, relying on plug n play hardware modules and software upgrades as technology inevitably improves over time. Indeed the earliest F-35s are already undergoing technology refreshes, and it’s a much less costly and onerous process than rebuilding an entire aircraft.

            The Navy is so pleased with the modularity concept that they are ordering it in all new warship designs from here on out. Not only for warships, but also for amphibs and auxiliaries. Indeed, the Navy discovered that the modularity of the MCM module made it ideal to be adapted to other ship types, such as auxiliaries, that had never before been part of MCM warfare.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Claiming IOC is one thing, actually having a usable SuWa module is another.
            The did scrap the interchangeable module system, each hull gets one module keeps it.
            Looking at the intended testing/rotation squadron system it’s impossible to view the program as a success, it may yet be able to avoid being a failure.

          • Duane

            The SuW module consists of a limited set of specific features or capabilities, and not including others that are either part of the base package of ALL LCS (like the 57mm gun and the COMBATSS-21 fire control system) or are a separate initiative (such as the OTH missile launchers), even if those other non-included components are certainly part of SuW. The specific SuW components include the two Mk 46 30mm gun mounts, Surface to ‘Surface Mission Module (the Hellfire 24 cell vertical launcher, which is a new addition last year that was tested out for the first time about 1 year ago), the Aviation Module (which is also used in ASW and MCM) including the MH-60R and the two MQ-8B and C UAVs, and the two 11-M RIBs. Everything except the SSMM are fully tested out and in service, there is apparently some additional integration testing due on the SSSM later this year.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            I appreciate your optimistic appraisal while so many others just have a knee jerk response to anything LCS. That said the SSMS is only getting a full integrated test this fall (the previous test, as with the Harpoon & NSM they aren’t integrated into the ship’s combat system).
            The SuWA module is coming along, but it’s still a work in progress, not a done deal.

          • Duane

            Yes, that is correct, full integration testing later this year. SSMS was added relatively late in the program, after the earlier Griffin missiles were rejected a few years ago. I rather suspect that the change was due to newfound development of Hellfire, making it the standard go-to short range missile for surface to surface and surface to air.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Ultimatly the Hellfire will be a much more capable SSM for the SuWa primary mission, anti-pirate, swarm boat, etc screening, while the eventual integration of the NSM will provide a decent punch against actual warships. I doubt the LRASM will ever be part of the LCS loadout, SuWA or otherwise, but likely an option for the eventual FFG (my money now is on the Freedom Class derivative getting the bid (though the Independence based version could win out IF the FFG is going to be a primarily ASW platform, tough to beat that platform’s flight support capability), the $800m target cost is going to knock all the foreign designs out of contention (IMO they’ll struggle to meet the $950m cost and the HII NSC derivative will struggle to provide sufficient capability boost vs the LCS to justify what will likely be a $100m or more cost gap vs either LCS derivative).

          • Duane

            The Navy and LM would not have spent the last two years designing, building, and testing the modified Mk 141 deck launcher to accommodate LRASM if it were not specifically intended to be integrated to LCS. The Navy and LM are following up on that with specific LCS test fires of LRASM this spring. LRASM WILL be integrated and deployed on LCS – the Navy has said so repeatedly, both in words and in deeds.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Time will tell, ultimately I think the weight of the LRASM package will make it a poor fit for the LCS platform in general (though individual exception might be made depending on the weight of other systems and the intended mission of that specific ship), but the same launcher that’s been tested on the LCS can be fitted to other larger platforms like ‘Phibs for instance, or even Expeditionary Sea Base, Auxiliaries, etc (though this requires commissioning them).

          • Duane

            The Navy disagrees with you. The proof is their development of the LRASM-modified launcher specifically for use on LCS, as well as amphibs. The weight issue is not really a big obstacle anyway. If the LCS uses an 8 cell launcher, and puts medium range NSM in four cells or six cells, and LRASM in the remainder (two cells or four cells), it only makes a difference of between 3,200 to 6,400 pounds (one and a half to three tons) on a ship that displaces 3,900 tons. I would expect the Navy to use a high-low mix of long range and medium range OTH.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            As I said, it’s very possible they’ll include LRASM for specific missions, and potentially possible it will be used in limited numbers on all or most LCS, time will tell. As we won’t have IOC for the final SuWA module until 2019 and MCM & ASW until 2020 it’s impossible to make an educated guess until we know the weight numbers, as well as if/what SSMS configuration they intend to include with all modules. Always nice to have the option in your back pocket though.

          • SDW

            Sometimes it gets just too hard to differentiate between Duane’s “Can Do” attitude and a case of canned do-do. While he’s not the only one to have become religious about the LCS, time will tell and nothing posted here will change that outcome. I hope he’s at least half as correct as he preaches because anything sort of Duane’s full faith and devotion is going to cost the lives of US sailors.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            I think too often in DC the most pessimistic voice is seen as the most accurate “a straight shooter”, but really they’re just as likely to be wrong is how things will go wrong (though it is obviously far more likely that something will go awry).
            With the LCS I think it’s important to separate what is planned or coming vs where things are, especially since the plan itself has fallen apart and been rewritten more times than we can count. That’s not to say the naysayers are right and LCS is a complete waste, the USN WILL get some valuable service from them once all they systems are tested and integrated, but even if things go swimmingly from now on we must be honest about the failures and limitations of the LCS program in order to avoid repeating those mistakes and making sure the fixes address the proper areas to provide the best possible return on the time and money spent already.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            So, according to you, the ONLY ships that will get improved ASMs are the LCS’s? They won’t be made available for any of the others? Hmmm?

          • Duane

            The Navy stated that the intent of the immediate OTH missile procurement was to support the “distributed lethality” objective for LCS.

            But the missiles purchased are still at least theoretically available for other ships, because the Navy has also stated publicly many times that its OTH missile program will be extended to virtually all US warships that do not currently have that capability, including amphibs, auxiliaries, and likely also to Arleigh Burkes (only the Flight Is have the angled cannister deck launchers that are optimal for smaller anti ship cruise missiles, which are much smaller than Tomahawks or the SM-3s and 6s).

            Additionally, the Navy and LM have designed, built, and ground tested a modified version of the Mk 141 angled cannister deck launcher that fires LRASM, with the express intent that such launchers and LRASM be deployed on LCS, as well as the other ships that will soon feature OTH missile capability. The at sea testing of the modified launcher is expected to occur this spring on an LCS. It is expected then that all the LCS with SuW capability will eventually receive the the new modified launcher and thus feature a high-low mix of NSM (the apparent winner in the current OTH procurement) and LRASM. The high end being the longer ranged, with bigger warhead LRASM, and NSM being the low end (medium range, smaller warhead, but otherwise being equally capable as a “smart ASCM”),

            LRASM is not yet officlally operational but it is expected to be declared IOC later this year, starting first on Super Hornets and B1-Bs.

            Finally, the OTH missile procurement now underway, which the Navy said this week will be complete before the end of July, is just the first increment. It is expected that the Navy will conduct a second OTH missile procurement sometime in the next 1-2 years after LRASM goes IOC and Boeing completes development of its Harpoon Block 2 ER, which is supposed to be competitive with NSM.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            So the LCS’s will NOT be the only ships to operate them.

          • Duane

            No, the LCS will not be the only ones to operate them. I’ve repeatedly posted that the LCS is the first and that others are being added, including amphibs, auxiliaries, and DDGs. They’re also going on aircraft too (Super Hornets and F-35s)..

          • PolicyWonk

            The builders did however fail in the ship automation requirement: both cases of LCS were supposed to be manned with a crew compliment of 40 – yet now they amount to about 70 due to the high maintenance, etc.

            While the builders aren’t without fault, I fully agree that the USN, and in particular the LCS PEO failed miserably.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            I’d say the manning requirement they were given along with the engineering needed to meet the (pointless) 40kt speed standard was asking the impossible.

          • PolicyWonk

            This is why I believe the DoD acquisition system is a miserable failure. The conflicting requirements engineers are often given require them to violate the laws of physics, science, metallurgy, and time – which explains why the costs are driven into the stratosphere.

            It seems that requirements are created without any knowledge of physics, any care whatsoever for the spending of taxpayer funds, or any cohesive strategy whatsoever, let alone the clear absence of any common sense whatsoever.

            Then there’s the problem of each service purchasing weapons as if there are no other service branches, often gold-plating stuff whether it needs it or not, with interoperability being an afterthought and zero integrated (cross-service) threat analysis. Oh yes – requirements changes are made from inception all the way through manufacture or construction, sometimes with as-of-yet-uninvented gizmos.

            DDG-1000 and LCS are two of the worst, most ill-conceived programs the USN has ever birthed. Both programs should’ve taken their morning-after pills and gone back to the drawing board.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            It’s criminal that the procurement process is so long that the operational requirements are obsolete before the ship ever tastes water.

          • SDW

            …and that applies to only those requirements that were actually do-able to begin with.

            NAVSEA has finally caught up with NAVAIR as the most bone-head procurement office in the country. It seems that every time there is a perceived need–it doesn’t have to be a real one–for a new and improved ship-based solution to a military mission, every butter-bar millennial and past-his-sell-date GS-12 comes up with his own list of gee whiz capabilities. He then tries to see how many he can clandestinely insert into the procurement spec.

            These collide with those inserted through the backdoor by the prospective contractors. (This group includes the currently favorite main gate whore as well as those coerced by a SES into bidding so as to maintain the façade of competition.) A GS-14 or -15 picks those that he recognizes from a recent Clancy or Coontz thriller and briefs the SES. The SES calculates the optimal point at which he can move on to another PMO before it all hits the fan and we’re off an running on yet another cluster headache.

        • @USS_Fallujah

          As for the Zumwalts…it’s amazing that while the USN is (IMO) ahead of the curve on BMD, and done such a great job on the Virginia Class, that they somehow completely fell on their faces with the LSC. DDG-1000 was a terrible concept from the start, a complete departure from the true purpose of the USN and surface forces in particular. They were all too happy to truncate the program and return to the Burke, but never took ownership of their mistake on the DDG-1000 program and ended up spending something like $22B on three technology demonstrators. That’s the equivalent of 12 Burke Class DDGs!

        • Duane

          You’re ignoring the fact that the Navy explicitly designed the Zumwalt class to field the next generation of EM weapons using its extremely large electrical power plant. The railgun is anticipated by Dahlgren to reach IOC by 2020, perhaps 2021 (which is about the time the Zumwalt reaches full operational status). The laser weapons are making rapid progress now too.

          It may well be that the foresight of NAVSEA with the Zum will end up being the savior of the entire surface fleet, in that cheap, rapid fire EM weapons may end up being the only way to defeat large salvos of incoming ASCMs and ASBMs that our enemies are developing.

          Just as the P-51D Mustang, whose extended development took four years making it a late arrival to the war, became the famous “little friends” of our 8th Air Force bomber crews in 1944-1945, perhaps the Zums will become the CVN’s best friend forever.

          • El Kabong

            “Just as the P-51D Mustang, whose extended development took four years making it a late arrival to the war…”?

            Oh Duaney….Stick to being the LCS cheerleader.

            While you’re at it, go read up on the A-36 Apache.

    • Horn

      They were planning on cutting the program down to 2-4 ships before Obama took office, and it only became official 3 months after he took office under the recommendation of then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover from Bush’s administration. Further production was cancelled YEARS BEFORE the BCA and sequestration were even passed. The LCS was born in the mid 2000s, before they even cut production on the Zumwalt and before Obama had even announced his run for the presidency. The Burke still has a little more room for growth, hence the Flight III. Also, sequestration was brought in with a Republican House and a Democrat Senate. More Republicans voted for BCA than Democrats. Your grasp of the actual facts is disheartening.

    • PolicyWonk

      Obama sequestration? Ar you referring to the sequestration that the GOP “leadership” encouraged their representatives to all vote for because “they got everything they wanted” in the negotiations?

      Of course, everything was going just ducky when Obama took office – never mind his inheriting from the previous (GOP) administration: a military at its lowest state of readiness since Vietnam; two incompetently managed wars; the worst string of foreign policy and national security disasters in history; and the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression.

      Sure – you can take the cowards way out and blame Obama for everything (despite the staggering evidence to the contrary). But then you can sit back on wonder why the credibility of today’s conservatives is in the tank.

      Cheers.

  • RobM1981

    Well, that was money well spent, eh?

    And we wonder why people view the military poorly?

    Hey, I know: given how stealthy the Zumwalt’s are, maybe they can devise a tactic where they get close enough to a foe, undetected, and then use the long barrel of the AGS like a club.

    Just batter the enemy’s hull with the barrel until they surrender. What could go wrong?

    The period in time when the LCS and the Zumwalt and the F-35 all gestated are a black mark against our DoD. A lot of people made a lot of money, while a lot of sailors and airmen were given sub-standard weapon systems.

    • sferrin

      It’s mostly the ignorant who view the military poorly. For example, this is purely a management issue driven by Obama policies. The USNs hands were largely tied here.

      • RobM1981

        I never, ever include sailors in the criticism, up to flag rank. At that point? The USN is a partner with the DoD. They share the blame for this.

        • sferrin

          You can’t blame them when they aren’t given the resources they need to do what they’re asked to. Something had to give. It doesn’t matter if you gave them a trillion dollars a year, if what they’re asked to do costs a trillion and a half, it’s gonna get messy. Usually training and spares get hit first, then it’s cancel new programs, even if desperately needed (see F-22, Zumwalt, and Seawolf), then the old cut and stretch with the rest of procurement until you have enough to left to at least pretend to meet the mission.

      • chris chuba

        The Zumwalt program was started in 2001, by 2005 cost overruns inflated the price to over $3B per ship to the point where the navy could only afford 7.

        Who was President in 2007? It wasn’t Obama or dem liberals, it was President Mission Accomplished, GWB.

  • sferrin

    Jesus, the amount in ignorance in this comments section could flatten the Earth.

  • Isa Akhbar

    Unbelievable! This is a national embarrassment beyond measure…all thanks to Barry and The Swamp.

  • Mark Tercsak

    The events that have taken place the last few years with our ships out at sea, colliding with other ships, is a national embarrassment , and I believe we have alot bigger problems, the pussyfication
    Of our Navy and other Armed Forces.
    The shims need to go and the broads need to be where they need to be at port ,
    No one on ship should be getting pregnant., if you want the broads on ship, than make the punishment for the crime, you get pregnant , while in the navy, 10 years busting rock, at Leavenworth.
    Unless you were raped, than its automatic dismissal and repayment for training costs.
    We need to turn boys into men.
    We need to rebuild our Armed Forces and reconstitute our Republic.
    Every American Citizen In this land has to have skin in the game.
    Nothing is free.
    Liberty is not free.
    Thus every American child should go to camp in seventh and fifth grade, to be the basics of military training, and survival skills and medical skills, running , sport and lesson on the Constitution and on the defense of Liberty.
    High School the basics of marksmen ship, with a rifle, bow and arrow, the last two years full fleged military training 2 weeks, upon graduation from high school
    They must serve two years in reserves or join the Armed Forces, to much idle time on their hands.
    Return recruit training back to the way it was hard and difficult and demanding,
    Same goes for the officers except tripple.

    • Refguy

      How many women were on the bridge when the collisions occurred? Wasn’t at least one female officer (not part of the bridge team) commended for damage control efforts after the collision? What is a shim? Obviously a slur, but directed at whom?

    • SDW

      I thought I recognized that speech from a movie. Then I remembered that the movie it belonged in was a silent film with Rudolph Valentino.

  • @USS_Fallujah

    It sound like they’ve decided to hold off on a new projectile until they can get the HVP from DARPA (or something else pops up from the industry side), but even best case scenario like LRASM you’re looking at having no rounds for the AGS for another 6-8 years…

    • Duane

      If Dahlgren delivers as they promise, the rail gun will be available for deployment on the Zums long before then. They expect to meet their barrel life target of 1,000+ rounds by this summer (hit 400+ rounds last summer), and predict deployable rail gun by 2020 or 2021. The gun they’re working on was designed from the ground up to replace the existing 155mm guns on the Zums. The Zums were designed specifically with the electrical power plant to power this exact railgun.

  • Curtis Conway

    Lack of Leadership on the part of the US Navy Chain of Command (?) . . and they have NO Plan “B”. It was Go-Path only, at platinum plated prices, and they saw nothing wrong with that from the beginning. Who have we elevated to positions to make THESE KINDS OF DECISIONS? Not my US Navy, and this kind of decision making should be a NON-Starter from this time forward.

    • PolicyWonk

      And to think they did it with their two newest classes of ships: LCS and DDG-1000.

      Both ships now represent a tremendous investment garnering minimal utility. At least the Zumwalts were designed to be warships, and with the tremendous power generating capacity they’ll be able to take on directed energy weapons and other capabilities when they are available.

      W/r/t LCS, the issue is and remains in doubt. Lacking the room for growth to enhance protection or armament, and being built to commercial standards: they’ll never be the warships the PEO is pretending they are, which might be unfortunately to the peril of those ordered to man them. The only small hope, is that the large aviation decks will come to some good use (hopefully sometime before decommissioning begins).

      DoD acquisition, across the board, needs to be extirpated and replaced with either a system similar to that used by the British, or failing that, put under receivership.

      • Curtis Conway

        The LCS should be employed in SOF support and supporting the Marine Raiders. There are many low tech AORs where this would be possible. However, there are some real threats out there that could take you out quick if you are close in to the beach (ASCMs and TBMs).

  • RTColorado

    What the Navy needs to do is get the Zumwalt into some kind of action…bombard something, anything (New Jersey or San Francisco for example), then they can retire it and turn it into a museum and try to get back some of the costs.

    • Ed L

      I vote San Francisco and add NYC Chicago and Houston

      • SDW

        forget Chicago…they are better armed and will fire back

    • Horn

      That’s not how museums work. The revenue generated doesn’t go back to the Navy. It goes to the costs to run and preserve the museum.

      • RTColorado

        Okay, let’s forget that idea.

  • kye154

    And the Navy talks about getting its SWO training up to speed, (to keep from wrecking ships) when the navy brass itself doesn’t seem to know where it is going, (building warships).. And really, when did the navy ever think it was competent enough” to monitor the Industry”??? The contractors are the ones who tells the navy what it needs, and the navy simply caves in to them, and that is what gets paid for and built.

    • SDW

      The USN is still uncomfortable about the yards being commercial enterprises. In WWII the Navy Yards couldn’t keep up with the load and the USN settled for private construction–first of cargo ships, then auxiliaries, and finally of some of the combatants. It wasn’t until the second half of the 1970s that most construction was contracted to private yards. Pork Politics was the main driver but promised efficiencies were a big factor. Many yards were closed permanently by the time Reagan took office and there was no going back.

  • Adrian Ah

    It’s not that the Zumwalt can’t do anything. It has world leading ship stealth. It’s range remains undisclosed but for it’s size, I assume it must be at least 5000nm which is acceptable, and 80 VLS is still good compared to most ships. It has reasonable sensors and software.
    The non functioning AGS is an opportunity.- Remove them, put in more VLS.

  • not sure why. but of all of the recent failed acquisitions (LCS,F-35,JAGM,etc) this bother me the most. Cant say why, it just does. Initially loved the concept, but it gradually go watered down to this mess. So they refuse to buy more rounds for basically what was supposed to be the centerpiece of its armament? So what do you arm the other ships with? How can this make any sense at all to supposedly intelligent people in charge?

    • @USS_Fallujah

      Hopefully the “fix” likely a 6′” HVP will come sooner rather than later, but in the mean time she ship is equipped with 80 VLS cells so it’s far from toothless. And if the HVP doesn’t work out perhaps they’ll pull the AGS completely and make the Zumwalts into Arsenal Ships (I’m still trying to figure out how many VLS cells they can fit into the AGS’ footprint).

      • Secundius

        I don’t know if this will help or not! But Ring Size for the Mk.51 on Base of Turret is ~2,553mm in diameter…

  • andrew links

    Interesting that China fields railgun while our government sits on its butt and can’t fix anything. Zumwalt great idea but fire Lockheed from all contracts till they stop overcharging for rounds. Go with railgun and pdl till more vls tubes installed. But make sure to ban Lockheed from all navel bidding future. They cancel program by overcharging for rounds.

    • Secundius

      Depends on whether “Test” and “Operational” are the Same Thing (i.e. Live Field Testing)…

  • Calvinius

    If the rifling twist of the Zumwalt’s guns is unsuitable for conventional 155mm artillery shells, here’s a novel suggestion: replace the entire barrel.

  • Why not just use 155mm vulcano ?

    • Secundius

      Already are! In 2017, the US Army, US Navy and USMC placed order of Leonardo’s “Vulcano 155”. Unfortunately virtually every NATO Country that uses the 155mm Howitzer did the same…

    • Secundius

      Already are! In 2017, the US Army, the US Navy and USMC placed an order for the Leonardo “Volcano 155”. The only problem being that virtually every NATO Country that uses the 155mm Howitzer did the same…

  • Secundius

    @ big mike.

    Already are! In 2017 the US Army, the US Navy and USMC and virtually every NATO Country that uses the 155mm Howitzer did the same…