Home » News & Analysis » Navy Accepts Partial Delivery of Zumwalt-class DDG Michael Monsoor


Navy Accepts Partial Delivery of Zumwalt-class DDG Michael Monsoor

Future destroyer Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) during acceptance trials on Feb. 1, 2018. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Bath Iron Works.

The Navy accepted the hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) delivery of the Zumwalt-class destroyer Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) today from shipbuilder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW).

The combat system would be installed later as part of the Navy’s two-part approach to delivering the three Zumwalt destroyers.

Michael Monsoor conducted its builder’s trials in December 2017 and January 2018 and completed its acceptance trials on Feb. 1. The hull today delivers to the Navy – eight years and one month after the start of fabrication – and the ship will now begin its transit to its homeport in San Diego, Ca., for commissioning in January 2019 and for the combat system installation, activation and testing.

“Delivery of DDG-1001 marks the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from our Navy and industry team,” Capt. Kevin Smith, DDG-1000 program manager, said in a Navy news release.
“We have incorporated many lessons learned from DDG-1000 and are proud of the end result. DDG-1001 will be a tremendous asset to the Navy.”

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is “nearing completion of industrial work in preparation to activate combat systems,” including the ship’s weapons, sensors and communications suites, according to briefing slides from a presentation Smith gave earlier this month. Zumwalt’s combat system test and activation will continue through 2018, with operational test and evaluation set for later this fiscal year and initial operational capability set for Fiscal Year 2020.

The third ship in the class, Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002), began fabrication in April 2012 and was 73-percent complete as of last month. The ship’s keel was laid in January 2017, the christening is set for November of this year, and the HM&E delivery is scheduled for March 2020, according to the briefing slides.

 

The crew of the Zumwalt-class destroyer USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) pays respects to fallen Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael Monsoor at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on the 10-year anniversary of his death. Monsoor was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on April 8, 2008, for his heroic actions while serving in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, with Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula. US Navy photo.

Michael Monsoor is named after Navy SEAL Michael Anthony Monsoor, who was killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom in September 2006 and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in April 2008. Several months after then-President George W. Bush presented Monsoor’s parents with the medal, the Navy announced it would name the second Zumwalt-class destroyer in the SEAL’s honor.

  • PolicyWonk

    BIW builds a fine ship – may she have fair winds and following seas!

    • ElmCityAle

      You tear apart the LCS program with glee, but lob a softball on this debacle? It has tremendous potential, but represents the same problems you’ve called out on the LCS program: multiple, changing, competing design goals that have led to some poor compromises. Leaving aside the insane situation with the gun system ammunition – a gun system that arguably was never needed because was the navy ever really going to perform offshore fire support missions again? – the originally planned radar systems were cut in half and the combat control system isn’t Aegis, which means completely different guidance units for the (limited number of) missiles supported.

      • Fred Gould

        Based on my time in the USN, Bath builds great ships. I started with the 2250’s left over from WWII. The class is meant to be revolutionary. Think back to the first DL’s. They had their problems, but pushed the envelope, resulting in all the successful classes beginning with the 933’s through the Knox classes.

        • Rocco

          Not sure what 2255 means? Also DL? You mean maybe DD…Or DE?

          • gmbrown00

            DL stands for Destroyer leader. In June of 1975 the Coontz Class Destroyer Leader was reclassified to DDG the larger DL were classified as Cruisers.

          • Rocco

            Ahhh I forgot about the coontz class

          • Fred Gould

            2250’s were the WWII work horses, the Fletcher’s. Served until the 70’s with distinction even though built with a 5 year life span. One during Okinawa took 26 kamakazis and stayed afloat. As for the DL’s, that is Destroyer Leader. The 5 ships were test beds for advanced engineering plants and electronics, among others. I worked on the Mitscher DL2 (DDG35). She was on a Med Cruise and I was assigned as a radar tech on the forward deployed tender, the Cascade. An excellent source is “US Destroyers A design History” By Dr Friedman.

          • Secundius

            What “Fletcher” class Destroyer to 26 Kamikaze Strikes? USS Laffey, was a Sumner class Destroyer, NOT a Fletcher class Destroyer. “Laffey” also took SIX Kamikaze Strikes and FOUR Bomb Hits, then spent the Next Two Years being Repaired. Not aware of ANY US Naval Ships that Survived Twenty-Six Kamikaze Strikes and Surviving…

          • Rocco

            OK…. I never new the Fletcher class was referred as such. BTW we have that book in my ships library thanks!

          • Curtis Conway

            The CG-47 precipitated from what was to be a new DLGN-42. The Aegis Cruisers are pretty good Destroyer Leaders in actuality. The rest is HiStory. The United States has not built a proper Cruiser since the Long Beach & Virginia Class nuclear cruisers, and the Chicago were decommissioned.

          • Rocco

            Hey I mentioned this before in a previous thread… Not sure if you read it that Hobby Master diecast just came out with a CG-47 with your name on it!!…..Sir!⚓️

          • Curtis Conway

            If I ever had a Tico in the house it would have to be 10′ long and under plexiglass. No one could touch it. LAMPS MkIII on the flight deck, HF box antennas on the fantail, and white birds on the rails. We would have the Admirals Gig on one side and the Utility Boat on the other with the Jacob’s Ladder deployed.

          • Rocco

            Well if you’re a good boy have the Misses get one for you! You can get your name rate rank & yrs aboard plank owner or decom crew engraved on a brass plate on the base of the stand! All for a measly 1K!!! Lol🤑

          • Curtis Conway

            I was at Fredericksburg, Texas in the Nimitz Museum and came into the room with that huge model. There was someone there trying to sound authoritative, and had no idea what they were talking about . . . so being the informed individual I am, I just leaped in and got them up to speed, and about that time the next group came in. I didn’t get out of that room for a couple of hours, but I did have a lot of fun.

          • Rocco

            Lol I get the same thing when I hear someone trying to show off to his friends or girl!! Of course I set him straight!! I was on the Nimitz for an overnight when I took a COD from rota Spain to her then to the Forrestal the next day. While there I got a old school ball cap which I still have in my Ford pickup! Lol

          • Not even sure I would call the Virginias proper cruisers with just 68 missiles and 3 illuminators (and that they were laid down as DLGN’s).

          • Curtis Conway

            Well, if you remember back in the day, we had Mk 10 and Mk 26 missile house configurations now all replaced by Mk 41 VLS. You pulled the the birds off the Ready Service Ring and loaded them onto the rail. On Belknap (where I got my warfare pin [steam ship]) in the Mk 10 missile house on the bow the missiles are assembled and winged (finned) and loaded on that honkin huge launcher. That SM-2 with a booster would fly about 120 nm, but beyond our ability to properly illuminate with the SPGs. Today, basically that same configuration (boosted SM-2) in the SM-6 configuraiton will fly father than that, and has the AMRAAM seeker on the front, so all you have to do is basically point it, cut it loose, give it some updates on the way to the target, and it has multiple ways to find where it wants to go when it gets there.

          • Those old ships were before my time, but I always enjoy the historical perspective. I’ve actually been wondering about ASROC use on the Terrier ships so I would appreciate any details you care to share – I’m particularly looking for a rough idea of how many were carried.

          • Secundius

            I suspect your talking about the “Belknap” Cruiser (i.e. Destroyer Leader). Which used a Mk.10 Mod.7 Twin Arm Launcher capable of firing both the Terrier and Asroc. The only other Navy to use the Mk.10 Mod.7 was Italy…

          • Curtis Conway

            ASROC mostly came out of box launchers ballistically launched for a long time. Any launching rail system could perform a ballistic solution and point the ASROC. The Mk41 VLS threw us for a loop because it is always going straight up. The proper booster thrust, and guidance system, and protections for the delicate torpedo systems that were hardened. The package is delivered back into the water by parachute. Still limited in range, which should be fixed. That is not that hard, you just have to decide to do it. If a passive track can be maintained long enough to get a solution, we should be able to launch on it regardless of range. We need a ‘dial-a-thrust’ booster.

          • What we really need is an ASROC replacement – looking at budget figures we only have a couple hundred left and they are rapidly reaching the end of their lives. The Japanese just introduced the new Type 07 ASROC so we could probably look at procuring some of those.

          • Curtis Conway

            As I recall some of our Navy Labs supported some of the development. Excellent point on procurement opportunities. The SM-3 Blk IIA program experience applies. I would like to see a Dial-and-Thrust booster which would be a selection of burn time vs. increased thrust. That concept is just kinda antithetical to lighting those kind of candles.

          • Secundius

            Don’t know whether or not you heard or not, but South Korea is seriously considering build their own Nuclear-Powered Patrol Submarines. Loosely based on the French “Barracuda” class…

          • Curtis Conway

            With the agreement today between the North and South Korea to “denuclearize” the peninsula I sure someone will raise heck if South Korea begins to build their own Nuclear Submarine Force. I smell China in the mix here. China does not want a Nuclear Pacific Rim, and if North Korea continued down the previous path, then South Korea, Japan, perhaps others would have to go that route. THAT would upset all of China’s plans for the future.

            This is an opportunity to continue to champion the cause of nuclear weapons proliferation by the US as policy, pursue a START Agreement with China in the Pacific Rim, and the US join in a Conventional Submarine development/production/deployment effort, and yes we would build the conventional SS’s in CONUS.

          • Curtis Conway

            With the agreement today between the North and South Korea to “denuclearize” the peninsula I sure someone will raise heck if South Korea begins to build their own Nuclear Submarine Force. I smell China in the mix here. China does not want a Nuclear Pacific Rim, and if North Korea continued down the previous path, then South Korea, Japan, perhaps others would have to go that route. THAT would upset all of China’s plans for the future.

            This is an opportunity to continue to champion the cause of nuclear weapons proliferation by the US as policy, pursue a START Agreement with China in the Pacific Rim, and the US join in a Conventional Submarine development/production/deployment effort, and yes we would build the conventional SS’s in CONUS.

          • Secundius

            The Force is only to contain Three Submarines, and with North Korea starting their own Nuclear-Powered Submarine for back in 19 September 2017. I can’t see where NK can with all honesty begrudge the SK’s from building their own to counter them…

          • Curtis Conway

            Oh that is certainly a point, but you see China plays a role here. That SSN decision by the NORKS was made BEFORE the meeting with China’s Xi Jinping. Have the NORKS rescinded that decision? Don’t think so, but China will continue the push back against the South Korean announcement. I still think a longer range, and more capable conventional submarine in US submarine operators hands, would provide a lot of return for the investment. Those submarines with that unique team in that environment would provide the same kind of support that ‘kicks our Alpha Sierra Sierra’ every time we take on the European Boats in ASW exercises in their home waters. A regionally tasked and home ported conventional submarine asset in multiple locations simply could not be beat.

          • Secundius

            And what Conventually-Powered Submarines in the US Navy would that be? It’s SK’s Money, and they can Spend It Anyway They Want. They could even try taking a Japanese Soyru class and converting it with a Nuclear Power Plant…

          • Curtis Conway

            I could live with an SSn, but that kills the savings, and the ports these little babbies can operate from.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            The box launchers on the Spruance DDs usually carried 24 ASROCs. Don’t know anything about the Terrier ships. They had 8 in the launcher, and 2 reloads for each ‘cell’ in the launcher. Harpoon missiles were also able to be launched from the Mk 112 launcher, and on some ships that carried the box launchers, they could fire Tartar missiles out of them. About that launcher designation, when researching ASROC, the designation ‘Mk 16’ sometimes comes up pertaining to the launcher. I am wondering if the different designations apply to different ship classes that had the box launchers? But most material I’ve seen refers to the box launcher as the Mk 112.

          • Ships with the dedicated launchers are one thing, but the Belknap-class supposedly had dual purpose launchers for both Terrier and ASROC and I was wondering how that worked – especially how much magazine capacity was devoted to ASW weapons.

          • Secundius

            The Mk.10 Mod.7 Launcher had Three Magazine, as “A” Magazine, “B” Magazine and “C” Magazine. Both “A” and “B” Magazine were Side-by-Side Magazine located on the Same Deck. Magazine “C” was located One Deck Below “A” and “B”, and had a Terrier/Asroc Mix. Each of the 3 magazines had a Tray that could store 20-missiles each. Load Out of Magazine “C” was determined by Mission Requirement before the Cruiser even left port…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            As I said, I don’t know about that. I’m sure that info is available somewhere on the ‘Net.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Were you on the Belknap when it collided with the Kennedy in ’75”

          • Curtis Conway

            I was PRECOM #2. The USS Belknap (CG-26) became a Class unto itself, and was the test platform for many Aegis elements for CG-47, of which I was extended the opportunity to PRECOM as well. The success of these two back-to-back Combat Systems ushered in the vast majority of the most successful Surface Combatants today, and not just in the US Navy. To see BMD in the mission set was understood by anyone going through the training, and employing this Combat System at sea in every theater of operations. The FFG(X) should continue that Aegis mission set in spirit and capability, even if the equipment set is not identical. In fact, evolution of the equipment set is inevitable, and a step in the right direction. All the Baseline 9+ and beyond are COTS backplanes and computers built with military service standards in mind. The Open Architecture development environment provides much innovation, cost savings, rapid introduction of new technology and software processing tools, and is one of the most beneficial elements in future development. The new FFG(X) should continue that legacy, it will just have smaller magazines until Directed Energy Weapons make their debut. With every respect, the FFG(X) should be a Seagoing F-35 (including DAS capability).

          • Rocco

            The long beach with that ridiculous superstructure like the Big E!!

          • Curtis Conway

            They both possessed the same unique radar. So you get underway at night and go Darken Ship as soon as you get at sea and just over the horizon from the Russian AGI. Then the Long Beach turns on her radar, and the Enterprise turns off her radar and they split. After steaming for a significant distance from the carrier, the Long Beach would turn off their radar and scream at the ‘speed of heat’ on nuclear power back to a predetermined point for the rendezvous and off they go. It’s game they used to play all the time. It’s harder to pull off today with National Assets and IR capable sensors.

        • Duane

          Yup … it’s usually best to stick with small numbers of hulls when great leaps forward in warship tech are made. Work out the inevitable kinks, then go for large production runs when the tech is mature.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Which was NOT the course taken for the LCS.

          • Duane

            No … it WAS used on LCS. First, two completely different hull designs were selected, with plans to down select to a single hull later on. FFG(X) is that down select. Then the Navy only ordered two of each variant, then spent another 6 years building and testing both before ordering two separate 10-ship block buys (later expanded to 11 each). And the Navy is finally ordering the last 6 hulls ending next year before the down-select and a 20-ship block buy.

            The Navy has been very methodical in its SSC development and procurement.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            They have been mass producing those ships while still encountering significant difficulties. And I’m not even talking about the modules.

          • Duane

            The MMs are GFE, and not even limited to LCS. The Navy is planning to make the MCM MM adaptable to auxiliaries, amphibs, and even cruisers and destroyers. Just as with the UAS developed for LCS, and will probably end up on the newer ABs with hangars.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Sounds like a pipe dream. As it is now, the Navy admits that the turnaround for a LCS to ‘swap out’ MMs will take at least 3 weeks. And they do not specify if that involves transit times to and from the base or port that does that work. It is hard to imagine the Navy taking truly valuable and capable ships off line for that period of time in a hot war to make such swaps. If the Navy were to bring back some ships from their reserve fleet for such ‘installations’. that would make more sense.

          • Duane

            MMs will only be swapped out on major maintenance availabilites. Not due to the time to swap out, but to maintain continuity of crewing across multiple deployments. It’s the human factor that controls, not the hardware.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            So the entire premise of the MMs is BS. The ENTIRE rationale for them was to be able to convert to the needed mission profile as the situation mandating that profile arose. That was THE selling point for the module approach. Now here we see Plan B being implemented, and the usual excuses that go with that.

          • Secundius

            To be fair. USS Yorktown’s Repairs were accomplished by ~1,100-men working around the clock for 72-hours straight. If the “LCS” were working under the SAME conditions, I suspect “Swapping Out” Mission Modules could be accomplished in less than a Day in Wartime Conditions…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Those repairs were also done at a major, well equipped naval shipyard. Seeing how basing for the LCS is hoped to be as close to the actual theater they are to operate in as possible, and hopefully they can be protected from an enemy’s fires, I just don’t see a 3 day turnaround. That’s just me.

          • Secundius

            And City State Singapore “Doesn’t” have any Huhhh. And yet the largest ship constructed in Singapore displaced ~56,000-metric tons. Not Capable of the evolution huhhh…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Is Singapore the only place they will be stationed in the world? Will Singapore especially escape attack from a peer or near peer opponent? Will enough host national workers be dispatched to make the turnarounds quickly on an LCS? Are ‘ordinary’ workers there going to do all the work needed, or will American workers or military members be involved with that? I’m not saying it CAN’T be done, but to use the Yorktown post Coral Sea as an example of what CAN be done doesn’t hold up here when applied to something that is advertised as being ‘routine’ (the swapping out of missions and the modules they depend on for them).

          • Secundius

            What’s the Turnaround Time for a Destroyer and/or an Aircraft Carrier? I suspect a Lot Longer than a Couple of Weeks. The US is Embroiled in at least 3 Wars, and yet Fight Them like the were Peace Time Actions. What do you suspect the Repair Time for USS Yorktown would be Today in 2018. The Same as in June 1942, or Worse…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            What missions do destroyers and carriers have to go into port to ‘swap out’ for? The original claims were the LCS, and that is the ship being discussed here, they are the ones advertised as having this unique ability, could be ‘swapped out’ in 72 hours. Period. Last I saw that translates into 3 days. Again, I do not know where transit time applies in all this.

            As to your question about whether the Yorktown or any other carrier could be repaired in a certain number of days, I can’t possibly know that. The useful examples for comparison would be the USS Oriskany, the USS Forrestal, and the USS Enterprise fires of the 1960s. They took a long time in a wartime situation. Another useful comparison might be the USS Liberty.

          • Secundius

            “IF” the LCS went from a TEU Mission Module to a StanFlex Mission Module they could probably do it in 3 days. The INDY is the only LCS that has an Internal Cargo Elevator to Move Mission Module with ease. Freedom “Doesn’t”. Consider it like “Vittling” a Submarine, where Least Priority Food goes in First and Priority Food goes in Last. Liberty class Cargo Ships had no less than SEVEN “Fixed” Cargo Cranes onboard. How many DID “Oriskany”, “Forrestal” or “Enterprise” have…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            You’re losing me Secundius. Why do you do this? Now you’re going to compare damaged carriers, which you brought up, to the LCS? So what about internal elevators in any ship? ‘IF’ doesn’t apply. I reported what the NAVY said about the turnaround times for mission module swapouts. if you think there’s a fater way to service the LCS, direct your points to them.

          • Secundius

            And you lost me too, by giving a Peace Time Solution (i.e. Slow Pace) to a War Time problem (i.e. Faster Pace)…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I gave you the Navy’s own info. Period. They didn’t differentiate between peace time and war time. Take that up with them. And I’ll bet my last dime there is NO scenario imaginable where they would turn loose 1100 workers to repair a LCS. You brought all that into this.

          • Secundius

            And you concluded that under Wartime Conditions that a LCS “Can’t” be “Turned Around” (i.e. Outfitted) in less than 2-weeks, while a “Badly Damaged” WWII “Lexington” class Aircraft Carrier weighing almost 7 times that of an LCS class can have Battle Damaged Repaired within 72-hours. You know how DUMB that sounds…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yes, I DO know how dumb that all sounds. Let’s review, shall we? The NAVY’s own pronouncements about taking THREE WEEKS to do a swap out brings out from YOU the USS Yorktown of WWII. Comparing a carrier and its importance to a LCS is just ludicrous for starters. In a real war situation, against a peer or near peer opponent, resources are going to be spread quite thin, at east at first. Damage and destruction to the facilities where such swapouts might occur is also a real possibility. Do tell, where would all your 1100 workers fit on a LCS to work on it? You pull these obscure, irrelevant comparisons out of somewhere. Nothing you have offered here makes any sense. Hate me all you want for that, but it’s what you did, and often do on these boards. I’m just left rolling my eyes.

          • Secundius

            That wasn’t my point! My point was the Application of Resources! The same Application of Resources (Scaled Down) could be Applied to an LCS, as that with an Aircraft Carrier, Destroyer, Cruiser, Gator-Freighter, and so on…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Well, you didn’t communicate that point very well. In certain situations, yes, I agree with you, the application of resources, especially on a massive scale, might accomplish some things that ordinarily cannot be. Given the Navy’s own pronouncements, and changes, in the turnaround times for the LCS, I do not know that they WEREN’T talking about a war time scenario. As the man said, “you go to war with the army you have”. That’s especially true for the navy you have. Think about this: if a carrier is damaged in a war with China, and a LCS is also, which among those ships do you think will get the biggest ‘application of resources’? Which one will the Navy prioritize? I think that’s a no-brainer. I’ll bet my last dime that if all the magical, mythical ‘modules’ are finalized, and procured, and all the LCS ships completed and deployed, if and when war breaks out virtually all of them will finish said war with the very same modules onboard that they started the war with. That’s my gut feeling. I can’t prove that, but I think it’s logical.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Sigh. No Duane. Just. No.

            The Navy’s original plan was to buy two each of Freedoms and Independence’s and then downselect to one type.

            The Navy didn’t actually do this. Instead – it built large numbers of both ship types. This has resulted in massive inefficiencies in manpower, training and logistics.

            Buying two classes of ships to do the same mission is not methodical. It is breath-takingly idiotic.

            PS – I suppose this is the point when you call me a Rooski.

          • Duane

            No … just misinformed

      • Rocco

        Agreed

      • Duane

        There have been issues with the development of this class, but it is hardly a debacle. It has turned into a developmental large surface combatant class, intermediate between the Arleigh Burkes and the Future Surface Combatant. That is not unlike the small class of SSNs – the 593 class, later renamed the 594 class after the loss of the Thresher -that became the foundation of the following and hugely successful 637 class boats.

        The DDG 1000s are pioneers in several key developments, including its oversized electric plant designed to deploy railguns – which would have replaced LRLAP in any event – and lasers; stealthy hull design; the new Mark 57 VLS; vastly improved on board computing power; much more automation of ship systems enabling a much smaller crew size; and a shallow draft enabling the DDG1000s to operate effectively in the shallows.

        We will see much of what these ships have in the next large class of surface warships.

      • PolicyWonk

        First of all, I hardly tear apart LCS “with glee” – it’s more akin to revulsion (I will, however, admit to dissemination of gallows humor on that topic from time to time – I’ve already written my elected representatives).

        And while you are correct that the DDG-1000 class is an acquisition debacle, these are at least built to be WARSHIPS. The gun system is without doubt one of the dumbest/most pathetic mistakes made for what is/was supposed to be a “land attack” destroyer. That said, the ship was designed to generate a tremendous amount of power, as this class is the first to be required to carry directed energy weapons, in addition to kinetic weapons (i.e. rail gun).

        In short – there is some modicum of hope for DDG-1000, in a similar fashion to the Seawolf class, which is entirely successful (but incredibly expensive) and also stopped at 3 hulls, yet they begat us the very successful Virginia class SSNs. The Zumwalts may yet turn into another example of this by passing its many lessons into subsequent classes of destroyers and cruisers.

        And unlike LCS, which are built well enough for the crews to be concerned about the damage that could be caused by a determined assault with a can opener, and are almost as dangerous for the crew than they are the nominal enemy, the crew at BIW have been building (arguably) the finest ships in the navy for hundreds of years.

        Hence – I don’t blame BIW for an acquisition mess caused by the USN (who oddly, opted to ignore many of BIW’s recommendations).

        I still hope she’s a lucky ship, and have absolute faith the crews will do their jobs if/when called upon. Same with the LCS crews: I despise the horrifying waste, expense, and poor designs – but I still pray they are assigned a lucky ship and have a good tour of duty (I admit, being assigned to a pier queen is a safe tour of duty – but some joker might get their panties in a bunch and send them into contested waters, and then they’ll need all the luck they can get).

        Hence – my good wishes for the ship and crew.

      • TomD

        “…multiple, changing, competing design goals that have led to some poor compromises.”

        Ah, the story of DoD procurement for the last 60 years.

        “…a gun system that arguably was never needed because was the navy ever really going to perform offshore fire support missions again?”

        I was always taught ‘never say never’.

        • Fred Gould

          Or back in the 60’s fighters do not need a gun. Missiles made dog fights obsolete.

          • ElmCityAle

            It’s decades later and the claims made too early about missiles are now correct.

          • That meme needs to die. The USN did just fine throughout the Vietnam War without any guns on their fighters and in fact many of the more successful Vietnamese pilots were flying planes that didn’t have guns.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Really? Then why were there gun pods put on Navy and Marine Corps F-4s? And why were all fighter pilots during most of the Vietnam conflict demanding that guns be built into later versions of the fighters they were flying? And why have all US fighters since then been built with guns?

            And what MiG fighters didn’t have guns during the Vietnam War? I know that most MiG-21 kills were achieved with missiles, but there were some kills that were done by or assisted with guns. If memory serves some models of the MiG 21 could have their gun pods removed. But they did have guns.

          • F-4 in Vietnam (USAF & USN): 156 kills, 88% of them with missiles – sure doesn’t seem that the guns were all that vital. I don’t have precise numbers for the MiG-21 but it appears to be in the same ballpark.

            While I was including the gun pod as “no gun,” the MIG-21PFL actually had no provision for the pod.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            “F-4 in Vietnam (USAF & USN): 156 kills, 88% of them with missiles – sure doesn’t seem that the guns were all that vital.”

            So, that 12% (which numbers 19 if my math is right) who used guns don’t count?

            The fact remains that pilots were clamoring for guns for their fighters, because the missiles were often not reliable. Gun pods were an interim fix until guns were actually built in to those planes.

            The MiG-21 PFL was not the only model of the MiG 21 the North Vietnamese flew. While certainly the Atoll missile was their preferred weapon (and some if not most of their ‘aces’ had virtually all of their kills via missiles), there are battle accounts from both sides where NV MiG -21s had kills via their guns, or a combination of guns and missiles. And the MiG-17 and MiG-19 were flown throughout the war, and recorded quite a few kills with guns.

          • Saying missiles were not reliable is simply doesn’t reconcile with the facts. While that may have been the impression among some of the pilots, an unreliable system would not be able to score 88% of the kills. In fact, the top scoring US and Vietnamese pilots both got all of the kills with missiles which suggests that better pilots actually didn’t see a need for guns.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            And your continued harping on wrong assertions doesn’t change anything. That 88% kill rate was achieved with how many missile shots? The reliability of the Sparrow missile during Vietnam was not good, with a reported success rate of 8 to 12%. The Sidewinder wasn’t much better for much of the war. So do tell: how many missiles were expended to achieve those 137 or so kills? And how many enemy planes escaped because they could not be engaged with a gun? You sure are cavalier in denigrating the abilities of pilots who were thrust into combat with not only brand new weapons to operate, but the brand new concepts behind them. And NONE of that can gloss over the fact that guns WERE put onto planes at the behest of pilots, and that guns are STILL viewed as a requirement on them. So keep stomping your feet, those facts are pesky things, and they are inescapable.

          • What does it matter what the accuracy rate was? A look at the facts shows that no matter how poorly they performed, missiles were still clearly superior to guns. We’ve been discussing the F-4, but even the F-8 (which was designed primarily as a gun fighter) scored 14-17 (sources conflict) of its 19 kills with missiles. Did a gun come in handy occasionally? Sure. But it wasn’t anywhere near as important as popular history makes it out to be.

            While guns were installed on the next generation of fighters, that doesn’t mean it was a good decision as they have barely been used for anything other than strafing runs. Out of the 179 air to air kills scored by the F-15 and F-16, just 10 (5.6%) of them were with guns – 3 of which were against helicopters and UAV’s.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            What? Say WHAT? You don’t think accuracy rates are a reflection of the reliability of the weapon, or the systems involved with them? Seriously? A 10% kill rate means that 9 out of 10 missiles missed, malfunctioned, were not used right, etc. The number of missiles fired by the Navy, Marines, and AF had to total well over a thousand to get the results you cited. Missiles are the preferred choice, then and now. So what? The guns are there as a last, but VIABLE, resort, in most situations. But if this causes you so much heartburn, take it up with the pilots who demanded that guns be provided, and the designers and pilots TODAY who demand them.

          • Secundius

            As I recall, in June 1965 two Douglas A1H Skyraider “Shot Down” a North Vietnamese MiG-17 by 20mm Gun Fire in a “Thatch Weave Gun Kill” and in October 1966, a single A1H shot down a North Vietnamese MiG-17 in a One-on-One Gun Kill. Not bad for three planes of 1945 designs…

          • Yeah, there were some crazy stories from the Vietnam air war.

          • Duane

            Because the AAMs of the mid-1960s were very crude and produced poor results.

            Guess what – it’s now the late 2010s. Since 1965 a whole heckuva lot of advancement has been made in both AAMs and in sensors.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            So, guns are NO LONGER built into US or allied fighter planes, right Duane? Hmmm? That GAU-22/A on the F-35 is just for show, ain’t it? LOL…

          • Duane

            If you let the enemy get within gun range, you done effed up on a massive scale.

        • Duane

          The land bombardment role of the DDG1000s was assigned back in the very early developmental planning to replace the land bombardment function of the retiring Iowa class BBs. Of course, in those days naval planners were thinking in terms of massive non precision bombardment, before the military began to internalize the benefits of precision fires. It’s a very different world today as we begin to enter the middle years of the 21st century.

          • TomD

            Is it really different? Can precision munitions always be counted upon? They can be degraded with smoke screens and GPS jamming.

          • Duane

            Actually, the latest generation precision guided munitions use multi-mode targeting systems to deal with various conditions including clouds, smoke, and GPS jamming. For instance the SDB II glide bomb uses a tri-mode tracking system including mm wave radar, laser designation, and imaging IR. The ORKA precision guided 57mm munition uses either laser or imaging IR. We are getting away from the older GPS guidance systems since GPS can be jammed.

            These multi mode targeting systems are getting smaller in size, meaning adaptable to smaller canon rounds, small bombs, and small missiles.

    • Rocco

      A waste of a good name of a hero for a crappy ship!!

      • PolicyWonk

        Rocco,

        I think its a bit early to call it a crappy ship.

        There are always teething issues with new ship classes, without exception – and these are to be expected.

        However, the exceptional case is LCS, which after 10 years since launching, is still gaining more problems than have been resolved. The foundational problems – primarily the ill-considered design, conflicting requirements, lack of room for growth, and sub-par construction, aren’t going away.

        This doesn’t mean that the DDG-1000’s are free and clear by any stretch – they may yet be determined crappy.

        JMHO.

        • Curtis Conway

          The Zumwalts will be test beds and development platforms.

          • PolicyWonk

            Certainly, that will be a large part of what they do, along with ISR.

            I don’t see them acting with the fleet all that much, as the fleet isn’t stealthy and the Zumwalts clearly are.

            I was up in Bath, ME, and ran into a guy working on the Zumwalt, who told me they assigned someone to run to the local marine supply store, to purchase a pair of folding radar reflectors before they sent her out for initial sea trials (it can get rather foggy around there, and everything over 16ft seems to have radar). The RCS is reported to be very small…

          • Curtis Conway

            Well now, you have piqued my interest, and caused me to be concerned. If sufficient active (radar), and passive (IR & Multi-spectral) sensors are not present on this very expensive, large, capable, and potentially effective combat asset, to the point that their situational awareness would be so low as to require them to place themselves in Jeopardy, instead of being able to AVOID danger, then I am both concerned about the platforms capabilities, and the level of professionalism of even Capt. Kirk! Having said that, having a radar reflector on board is a good idea. We used to put them on the HH-65 Dolphin helos all the time when the Coasties were on board.

          • PolicyWonk

            Kirk, from what I understand, is/was an impressive man and a serious sailor. I thought I’d read that he isn’t commanding anymore…

            The RCS of the Zumwalt is reputed to be roughly equal to that of a lobster boat, hence the desire to enhance its signature with a COTS radar reflector.

          • Curtis Conway

            It was a Hyperbolic / Rhetorical comment. James T. Kirk is rolling his eyes in the future . . . except for the situational awareness part.

        • Rocco

          Consensus calls it that way lol

          • PolicyWonk

            ;-(

        • Rocco

          Well we may not agree on this one! However I agree with the 2nd paragraph! Regardless of the out come it’s a crappy looking ship besides being a crappy ship!! This may be like the WW- 2 ….CB class battle cruiser that never served as long as it should have! As only 2 were built & 1 partially. But at least the Alaska & Guam served with distinction & did damage to the enemy! It was said that the 12″ guns cost more than the 16″ ers on the BB’s. But at least they worked! & The Ship’s were cool looking & intimidating!

          • PolicyWonk

            Alas!

            Oh well – we can’t agree on everything. We were on a roll for a while there.

            I’ve been to Bath a number of times, and I don’t find the Zumwalt’s nearly as ugly/offensive as the Freedom-class LCS.

            that said: YMMV.

          • Rocco

            Lol that’s what she said!!

            YMMV….??

          • PolicyWonk

            Doh! LOL…

            YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary…

          • Rocco

            Indeed!

  • Ed L

    Fine Name for a Warship! I still think it should be called a Cruiser. Okay now on the gun system, Let me try to understand this. The Advanced Gun System is a 155 mm naval gun, which was cancel due to cost of the shells that rose to 800,000 plus per round. The Navy Originally was going to purchase enought to provide 3 full load outs per vessel right or wrong? I can’t remember if that is correct or not. If one ship were shoot rapid fire for 10 minutes that is a 100 rounds expended. If that is done 3 to 4 times during the day that is over have the magazine expended. Time for UNREP to reload magazines. How many rounds was the Navy going to purchase for the 3 Ships? 2,000 per ship? 2,000 total for all three? I would think that the Navy would buy at least to ten thousand rounds per ship. Why, so they can be stored stateside, on Ammunition Ships, at forward operating bases. String the purchase order out over a few years. On the AOE I served on, I believed we carried at least 3,000 rounds each for 3 inch 50’s, 76mm, 4,000 rounds for the latest 5 inch and even about a thousand rounds for the 5″38’s some our allies still used. Plus a couple of thousand bombs in 500, 1000, and 2,000 pounds. And don’t forget the Air to Air missiles, SAM’s, small arms ammo etc.

    • Jon Tessler

      while on the USS Guadalcanal, we carried approximately 1000 3″50′ rounds per gun mount, or 2000 rounds total.

      • Ed L

        Yup sounds about right I did a tour on the Inchon, But on that AOE. (Fast Combat Support Ship) we carried almost every type of Ordinance that was needed in the Fleet. It was an education in logistics

  • Chesapeakeguy

    So they abandoned the ‘Vertical Gun System’ so that unguided munitions could be used. Except ALL munitions have to be specially developed and built for the present, so-called ‘Advanced Gun System’. But only ONE shell was ever manufactured for it, and it is so darned expensive that it has been cancelled, rendering the guns useless. And with the plethora of 155 MM shells available within our own Marine Corps and Army, not to mention our allies, nobody thought to make it adaptable to fire them. Government procurement at its finest!

    • PolicyWonk

      The problem with use of conventional ammo, is that the rifling of the barrels on the DDG-1000 is different enough so they can’t use it. It is possible they can design new barrels – but this remains to be seen.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Exactly. You know, as a fall back position, you’d think the ability to fire the rounds that already exist within the services and allies would have been implemented. While they don’t have the ranges sought, they still could have been useful for providing supporting fires to troops onshore if and when the primary threats to the ships were eliminated. ‘Mop up’ operations come to mind here, among others. .

        • That’s simply not realistic – there is not a single 155mm round in US or allied service that is designed for a fully automatic naval gun and adapting one for that purpose would likely cost nearly as much as designing a new one.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            It’s not realistic based on the way they designed the Zumwalts gun systems from the get-go. I don’t argue that. But the fact that they put all their eggs in this one basket that has indeed spilled out is just plain stupidity. Why would they NOT embrace an ability to fire existing rounds that are available in the tens of thousands, if not more? And here we all are literally back at square one with NOTHING as far as those guns go..

          • And how would they have designed it to do so without going back to 1940’s era hand loaded shells (which would have lowered rate of fire and drastically increased crew size)?

          • Chesapeakeguy

            And how do you know they would have had to ‘go back to hand loading’ if they had considered those rounds in the first place, at least as a fall back option? I’m confident that if the Navy can develop an automated system for specialized rounds they are creating, they could certainly develop one for EXISTING rounds that number in the tens of thousands.

          • Maybe they could have – but autoloading fixed ammo is a lot easier than doing it with the powder bags that existing 155mm ammo is designed for. And it would almost certainly have been an either-or situation, not one as a fallback for the other.

          • Secundius

            The German PzH-2000 155mm autoloader uses Bagged Propellant Charges. Which is the Same Gun System used on the Naval “MONARC” 155mm…

          • As far as I can tell the PzH-2000 has to have powder bags hand loaded.

          • Secundius

            You can find the Gun in Operation on YouTube. Also the Swedish/Finnish “Archer” and French “Ceasar” are also Autoloaders using Bagged Propellant Charges…

          • I watched some videos but they all showed the loader hand loading a single powder bag.

            Ceaser requires the crew to handle every shell and bag.

            Archer is the closest, but I think it would be the most difficult to navalize since it only has a 21 round clip and it looks like the entire mechanism would have to be on the mount itself above decks.

            I’m not saying it would be impossible – just that there is a reason every autoloading naval gun has used fixed ammo.

          • Secundius

            The PzH.-2000 is about 10-years older then either the Archer or Ceasar gun systems and was the First to utilize an Autoloader. Though the First Round has to be Manually Feed to start the Operation Sequence…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Well, given all that, the ‘either/or’ that has been chosen sure hasn’t worked out, has it? Now, as of this time, the ONLY salvation for utilizing these guns appear to be the rail gun rounds. The following is from Wikipedia’s entry on the AGS…

            “In particular he noted that the BAE Hypervelocity Projectile testing, a
            cross service 5″ Naval and 155mm land, low drag self guided Mach 7
            capable round originally intended for Railguns, was achieving range
            close to the original LRLAP specification while having superior rate of
            fire and accuracy. The HVP rounds are currently estimated to cost around
            $25,000 for a surface-to-surface 5″ or $86,000 for an anti missile
            variant 155mm round.”

            They don’t say anything about these rounds being HE or kinetic. But seeing how the AGS is still a conventional gun, HE rounds certainly seem doable. So maybe there is some hope after all!

          • Imagine yourself as the program director back in 2000 or whenever. What is your argument for insisting on a more complex and vastly less capable gun system for what is going to be the mainstay surface combatant of the next 30 years? Are you going to go up in front of Congress and testify that your crystal ball told you the program would be cut to 3 ships and the perfectly functional gun system would become unaffordable?

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Seeing how you like to talk in fantasies and what ifs, please prove to me how a 32 ship buy, had that happened, would have made the original ’round’ more affordable? It’s possible, but it’s not definite. That’s just for starters. My argument for a more VERSATILE gun system would be for what has transpired. Why make a big to-do about a 155 MM gun and shell if they can NOT fire such shells which exist in the tens of thousands? One could logically assume that the size of such a weapon and projectile would have a least SOME commonality with those in existence. The approach used for the AGS is a classic example of gold plating.

            Having to anticipate or account for failure is a prudent thing. The Zumwalts dropped the Mk 110 57 MM gun and replaced it with Mk46 30 MM ones because the Mk 110 didn’t pan out for them. The Navy is still encountering huge, and some within the program say possibly insurmountable, problems with the Ford class catapults, to the point where there is ‘speculation’ that more conventional catapults might have to be built in into future ships of that class. Some are demanding that the Navy forego the mission module approach for the LCS and build them tailored to specific missions, because of the problems with the modules development. So ‘my argument’ would be based on common sense.

          • Have you ever heard of economies of scale? There is a massive difference between manufacturing 2,000 rounds and 64,000+ rounds. Ultimately, this is what killed LRLAP as well as the suggested alternatives. It simply isn’t economically practical to set up a production line for such small quantities, let alone keep it running for the lives of the ships.

            Intentionally building a system that is so much less capable that it can’t even do the intended mission on the off chance that budgetary issues will cause its procurement is far from being prudent.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I have heard of economies of scale. They are wonderful things if done right. These UNIQUE munitions are so specialized that the Navy might have already seen the cheapest price they will ever be. The price range given for them is $800k to $1million EACH. What would be an acceptable price for them? What constitutes a ‘bargain’? $700k? $600k? The procurement of enough rounds to arm several dozen Zumwalts is in the tens of BILLIONS of dollars, just for their guns!

            You keep harping about a ‘less capable system’. I’ve never disagreed with that assessment. My point is all about getting SOME good use out of these guns. I’ll take shorter ranges and slower rates of fire and anything else if they can be utilized as opposed to the present reality that they cannot be used at all! I don’t know why that is so hard for you to grasp.

            One other thing here. Wikipedia (I know you dismiss them because they don’t say what you want them to has this in their AGS entry…

            “It could cost up to $250 million in engineering costs to modify all six guns on the three ships to accept a new round”.

            Given the sheer amount of money that has already been pumped into this project, that almost sounds like a real bargain. Sad but true…

          • Rocco

            Agreed again! Your on a roll!

          • Centaurus

            Roll out some Borane-Azo-ammo with near nuke power. Explosive technology has moved forward by leaps and bounds. China Lake holds lotsa tech as yet unemployed !!!

      • Centaurus

        Lets move up to unconventional Ammo. Like small clean Low yield nukes. What are we waiting for ?

    • MaskOfZero

      The initial ammo planned turned out to be way, way overpriced–so they cancelled plans for this ammo.

      The Navy noticed much cheaper prices for guided shells like Excalibur used by the Army.

      In addition, while testing a high velocity shell for the rail gun, they seem to have found an inexpensive alternative. They are furiously working on this shell as a possible inexpensive replacement for the overpriced shell originally planned.

      If this new high velocity shell can be adapted–then it will also be rolled out to every 5 inch gun in the fleet increasing distributed lethality.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Well, as you put it, “IF” they can do those things. It’s not like they had a Plan B, they are starting from scratch trying to catch up. And they’re doing so from a failure mode, in that their original goals were not attained, except at unacceptable cost. Reading how the Navy is developing yet another shell is not a confidence builder, not after THIS fiasco. I DO hope they salvage something out of it. But I won’t be surprised if the Navy removes the AGS entirely from these ships and replaces them with VLS cells. We shall see I reckon..

        • MaskOfZero

          I agree that the Navy FUBAR on this vertical gun ammo.

          The ammo is a key consideration for the central weapon of the Zumwalt class, and this last minute realization on the cost of the ammo, and the tactical/strategic implications of such a high ammo cost reveals quite a few people were asleep on watch.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yes indeed!

      • Ed L

        How many LRLAP rounds was the Navy going to buy for the three ships? 30,000 is a right number that’s 40 loadouts that can be distributed at facilities and on ammunition ships around the world

        • Secundius

          In 2013, ~90 LRLAP’s were ordered for Testing and Initial Production at ~$18-Million USD. First production contract was for 150-LRLAP’s for a total of ~$476,946.67 USD (i.e. ~$3,179.64/LRLAP) in 2015, then somewhere in 2016 the unit cost Jumped ~$800,000 USD/LRLAP’s. If I had to venture a guess, “Greed” because of being purchased in Small Lot Consignment Purchases…

    • Duane

      The 155mm saboted hyper velocity rounds developed for the rail gun are being adapted to use in the AGS guns too. These rounds should be available for use in the DDG1000s by the time they are ready for deployment.

      By the way, for those critics who have been writing premature obituaries for the naval railgun, General Dynamics announced this week a new contract with the Army to develop a new ground based railgun built upon their progress on the naval railgun. GD explained to the media that they have now attained their objective of 1,000+ shots per barrel on the naval gun, and now are focused on increasing range up to 100+nm at 32 MJ.

      We can expect that the naval railgun will eventually be adapted to the DDG1000s as always planned.

      • publius_maximus_III

        Sounds promising, a USN that will never again have to worry about “keeping their powder dry,” much less a lucky hit to a magazine blowing an entire ship to smithereens..

        • Duane

          Yup … reducing explosive magazines is a big safety plus up, magazine capacity gets a big increase, and the munitions are a lot cheaper than either chemical shells or missiles.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yeah, it all sounds too good to be true. What will be given up in exchange for ‘safety’? Non explosive projectiles, especially when they will be limited in the quantities any given ship can carry, don’t appear to be of much benefit to ground troops who are pinned down and need help. They might be fine for slicing into some kinds of structures, but no deliverable explosives for troops ashore sounds like a truly risky proposition. Of course, putting explosives into shells launched via massive discharges of electricity will no doubt be yet another huge hurdle to overcome.

          • The HVP has a version with an HE payload.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Really? Source please? Because I can find nothing but references to it working entirely along the lines of kinetic energy, i.e., KE is what will neutralize a target, not explosives.

          • Dec 2017 Report to Congress on the Railgun program, page 22.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I’m reading that right now and see NOTHING about a HE variant of the HVP. I DO see where they hope they can fire the HVP from conventional guns, but again, there is nothing that I see about an explosive shell. It’s all kinetic energy.

          • Middle column of the chart – “Mission & Warhead Type.” See all the “NSFS – HE?”

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I see that. Did you read everything that’s there? And did you check out Figure 11 too? It is explained above Figure 12 (the ‘chart’) that the HE round is for firing out of existing 5 inch gun barrels, like those found on the ABs and the Ticos. 3 of the 4 applications, represented as individual lines, show NON-rail-gun applications of those shells. In other words, they list standard 5 inch gun mounts, the AGS (which is not an electrically fired weapon like the RG will be), and existing Army guns and howitzers. One line (Line 2) does show a FUTURE rail gun round listed as HE. But, there is no corresponding text about such an approach. in the report itself or elsewhere. EVERYTHING shows and says that kinetic energy rounds only will be developed for the RG.

            I asked about Figure 11 because it shows one shell, the one fired FROM the 5 inch barrel, as being something configured as a HE round. The other ones shown there appear to be kinetic.

          • Secundius

            You might try “NavWeaps” under the Title of the “MONARC” Naval 6.1 inch Gun or “MONARC” 155mm Gun…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Thanks for that Secunduis. Interesting stuff. They were trying to fit a 155 MM on a frigate. Something as big as a Zumwalt ought to handle that recoil a little better. At least, I hope it would. LOL..

          • Secundius

            The Turret for the “Zummies” weigh ~103-tonne each because of Waterjacket surrounding the Barrel. The “Tico” version lacks a Waterjacket and only weighs 53-tonnes. The Swedish/Finish “Archer” Gun System can Fire 3 rounds in 15-seconds, or a “Mad Hour” at 75-rounds/hour sustained. The “Archer” is totally Self Contained, with a combined weight of Turret and Gun of ~30.5-tonnes…

          • Centaurus

            Can’t we equip a ship with at least 1 16″ gun ? those had tremendous killing power.

          • Secundius

            That’s ~35 Mk.7 16-inch gun barrels! And what of the Battleships themselves? Going to look rather Stupid Looking moored as Museum Ships without their 16-inch Gun Barrels protruding from their respective Gun Turrets…

          • Centaurus

            you didn’t hear a word i said, monkeyvagina

          • Secundius

            Ammunition production ended in 1990! So you’ll have to Raid Every Museum, Historic Naval Facility and any Collector of WWII Memorbilia from Coast to Coast. And each Mk.7 16-inch Gun Barrel has an ~390-rounds per barrel lifespan. In 1938 the Mk.7 16-inch gun barrel cost ~$1.5-million to Purdue. Adjusting for inflation Gun Barrel replacement prices is around ~$23-million per barrel. A TAD BIT high for a Artillery Barrel that has to be replaced ever 390-rounds fired…

          • Figure 11 just shows how different sabots can be fitted to the HVP to allow it to be fired from multiple weapons – I’m not sure what you’re seeing that makes you think the 5″ version is HE.

            The large “FUTURE” on the railgun line in Figure 12 doesn’t describe the shell, it describes the railgun itself since there aren’t currently any in the fleet. Other than Figure 12, there isn’t anything else in the report discussing railgun ammo either way. I know a lot of people say that the railgun will only have a KE round, but I don’t see how that is supportable when we have a USN slide talking about an HE round right in front of us.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            But that appears to be the ONLY source for such a claim. And given how they are still encountering such formidable hurdles developing the actual gun system itself, and its kinetic round(s), taking on the problems of launching explosive laden rounds via huge doses of electricity is something that will take place WELL into the future, if at all.

            A couple other things here. This is directly under the Figure 12 chart…

            58 The “KE” in the next line down means that when fired from EMRG, the projectile can alternatively attack targets using its own kinetic energy (i.e., by impacting the target at hypersonic speed).

            That ’58’ is a footnote in the text above the chart itself. Here is what it says..
            .”is a slide showing the potential application of HVP to 5-inch power guns, 155mmpowder guns, and EMRG. The first line of the slide, for example, discusses HVP’s use with 5 inch powder guns, stating that it uses a high explosive (HE) warhead for the NSFS mission; 58.

            THAT literally says it all. HE for EMRG rounds fired from 5 inch guns, but kinetic for said rounds fired by rail guns.

            Last but not least, this is on the page before the one with the photo that is Figure 9 (the one with the officer holding the actual round)…”The projectile, which weighs about 23 pounds, is a hypervelocity projectile when fired from either EMRG or a powder gun, but the term HVP tends to be usedmore frequently in connection with the concept of firing it from a powder gun.” 52

            Again, that’s pretty cut and dried. NOTHING about HE, just kinetic..

            .

          • The railgun and HVP are still in early development – there’s a lot of information that we only have one source for and it’s not like this is some unknown blog or unsourced Wiki claim. I’m ranking a single slide from NAVSEA over all the internet speculation you can find.

            The text around Figure 12 is just explaining what the terms “HE” and “KE” mean to ignorant Congressmen and is the creation of the CRS. The slide comes from the Navy it it quite clearly lists an HE round for the railgun.

            The caption on Figure 9 doesn’t actually mention KE either, just the term “HVP” – which, according to Figure 12, means both HE and KE.

            While there is speculation that the electromagnetic fields in a railgun could cause problems for various types of rounds, speculation is all it is. The Navy has never mentioned any such problem even though it has been quite open about the difficulties with rail erosion and power generation.

          • Secundius

            If you’re referring to that “Generally Atonic” (i.e. General Atomics) Rail Gun having a Barrel Life of LESS that that of a Mk.7 16-inch/50-caliber Barrel Tube (~390-rounds). The Scuttlebutt on that problem has been out for at least 2-years. I suspect that BAe will replace General Atomics as Prime Contractor within the next two years…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Well there you go. YOU ‘rank’ a single line on a chart as the end all-be all, because you want it to be that, despite the absolute LACK of any verifying info anywhere else. And you continue to ignore that the HE round described is for firing from POWDER guns, not the rail gun. Wikipedia is but one source for all that, so if you want to dismiss that, Have at it.

            Concerning your use of ‘speculation’, right now the rail gun itself is as much speculation as it is reality. Yes, they have shown that they can do certain things with experimental ones under certain conditions, which at present are tightly controlled. They still have HUGE technological and engineering hurdles to overcome. I personally pulling for them to overcome them. But that speculation in the way you use it cuts both ways. And a rail gun fired HE round certainly is ‘speculation’ to put it mildly. ‘Fantasy’ might be more accurate at this time. If anything, your chart entry to those ‘ignorant Congressmen’ represents speculation as it does anything else.

          • Well, I’m obviously not going to convince you, so we’ll just have to see what happens down the road.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Convince me of what? You have no point here. A lone, vague reference on an obscure chart that has NO supporting data is not anything.

          • Centaurus

            Electric Ships ? What happens when a breaker blows ? What happened to Directed Energy Weapons ? Aren’t we in the era of Star Wars yet ???.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            You break out the electrical tape…

          • Centaurus

            What if the U.S. Navy does not have a part # for “electrical tape”

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Maybe you should get off your backside and ask that of the Navy itself.

          • Centaurus

            No , I know that the USS Zumwalt, homeported @ 32nd St pier, San Diego is just an expensive, overteck’y chunk of Bloatware waiting to be sunk by a Chinee DF-21. Thanks Chesapeakegirl ! And check your 6, it smells really bad

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Wow. So ‘deep’ with your ‘commentary’. Another little pantywaist spewing drive-by bile on a forum he is grossly ill-equipped intellectually to ever contribute to. Take a bow girlfriend. And if you don’t like what’s emitting from my ‘six’, get your face out of there. I’m sure you can find a rear end to put it in that will benefit you. You do seem like the type.

            Well, bye..

          • Rocco

            Lol kudos!

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Well, as this article states, the Zumwalts ARE ready for deployment, so where are these new shells? And where exactly are you getting your info about rail-gun rounds being adapted for the AGS? There are no such sources that I can find. This site posted an article by Sam LaGrone on Jan. 18 of this year that states unequivocally that the Navy is NOT pursuing any other round for the AGS. Check it out sometime..

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

        By: Sam LaGrone

        January 11, 2018 4:41 PM

        Per the assertions about the progress of the rail-gun, the Navy is admitting that they still have significant technological hurdles to overcome. The March 9, 2018 issue of Military dot com has an article titled “Navy ‘Fully Invested’ in Futuristic Railgun, Top Officer Says”. They don’t appear to be anywhere near ready to talk about when that might be operational. But I encourage all to check those articles out!

    • old guy

      Ahhhhhh, you and your realistic knowledge.

      • Rocco

        You & your senile………….

  • RobM1981

    A great hero, but a flawed design. The Navy continues to disappoint by doubling down on this folly, pouring tax dollars into a ship that has unusable weapons.

    “Flexibility? We’re the US Navy. We don’t need to be flexible…”

    Perhaps they can replace the bumps up there on the forecastle with Remington 700’s chambered in .30-06.

    You can get the ammunition for those at most WalMart’s.

    • Secundius

      Or Bullpup it as with the MK Machining Bullpup Remington 700 in .30-06. Sells for at ~$1,999.00…

  • publius_maximus_III

    Good to honor a fallen warrior, but with a cruiser-class “auto” destroyer and its skeleton crew? Speaking of which, isn’t it high time to find a -real- replacement for the Tico’s?

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      I think a real replacement for the Ticonderoga should be the Navy’s 3rd highest priority (with Columbia-class SSBN #1 and I believe a properly-done and properly-bought FFG(X) should be #2) … but they will screw it up. Just you watch, Flight III Arleigh Burke’s will be called the Tico-replacement in the next 5 years. They’ll commission, a few will hit the fleet, then we’ll hear how they’re going to assume the AW Command/Coordination role on a 1-for-1 basis as Ticos retire, and modern Strike Groups will basically be a Carrier, a bunch of Burkes, and maybe a FFG.

      Ashame, because if they put a nuclear plant in a Zumwalt, built it with all the actual low-observable and technological features it was supposed to have (like the proper radar and sensors etc.) — took off the AGS, added 150-200+ VLS, it would be an outstanding Ticonderoga AW replacement.

      • publius_maximus_III

        I’m hoping future CSG’s will include: Qty (1) Tico-replacement, Qty (2) or (3) Arleigh Burke DDG-51’s of various vintages, and Qty (1) silent service partner.

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    So is the plan to have all 3 Zumwalts in San Diego like all 3 Seawolfs are in WA? Kind of sucks, it seems to me the Navy just basically has ignored the Atlantic in the last decade- and I get it, “Pacific Pivot” and all that. But be careful what you wish for…. The East Coast of the USA is pretty much the Capital Coast Of The World.

  • cadrethree

    You would think the government would have an independent agency from the the military contractor and buyer to fix these programs. Cheaper by utilizing emerging technologies from Europe, Japan, and Israel to drive down cost and come to within 80 percent of current 1.0 technology. That’s what electronic companies do when they drop new stuff. The F-22, Seawolf, & Zumwalt could have gone into massive serial runs is the military would change their metholody. They would be better off have the buying agency submit one proposal to a central design agency and no more input or changes from the buyer until it’s built. But when you eat from solid gold trough…

    • Curtis Conway

      Fix ? . . FIX ? . . they are not in that business. Their job is to capture as much tax dollars as possible, and at least LOOK like they are trying to meet mission requirements. The DDG-1000 Program is a case in point. Their mortgages got paid, and their children go to the Ivy League schools (with the big ticket ‘that’ dictates). Just to build things that work would be an improvement so we can grow back the force to meet Unified Combatant Commanders requirements.

  • old guy

    1. This is an UNSTABLE ship (its rolling moment increases, instead of decreases with increasing roll.) Basic hull design MUST be changed. It flopped over in a turn in the tank at DTNSRDC.
    2. The Rail gun is a “no mission” weapon. As a missile or aircraft catapult, GREAT. As a gun, silly.
    3. I got a psychic message from my old boss, “Big Z” to get his name off that ship.

    • Rocco

      Yeah right!!

    • USNVO

      I thought the ignorance and superstition had finally died on the DDG-1000 hull form, I guess I was wrong.
      1. If the hull was really unstable, the ZUMWALT would have capsized during sea trials. And yet, it was actually found to be far more stable than either CGs or DDGs healing only 13 degrees during full speed full rudder turns (for reference, a CG will heel close to 30 degrees in the same test). So much for it being unstable.
      2. The fact that during a tank test during development of the hull form the model (of unknown shape, condition, or CG) capsized has precisely nothing to do with the overall stability of the ship. It is a test, you are supposed to find the limits.
      3. The DDG-1000 meets all USN requirements for intact and damaged stability. The Navy was confident enough to add several hundreds of tons to the ship, very high up, by changing from a composite deckhouse to steel above the O-4 level (basically a giant composite mast) after DDG-1000.

      So consider, in order for the ship to be unstable, you would need for all of the engineers at David Taylor who did the tests, all the engineers that did the test on the sub-scale model, all of the engineers who reviewed and signed off on the stability curves, and all the people who rode the ship during sea trials to all be part of a giant conspiracy. Can you show me even one of those naval architects who have said anything? Even one?

      Conversely, for the ship to be stable and meet they Navy requirements for intact and damaged stability, all you need to believe is that someone with a little knowledge misapplied said knowledge.

      I know which bet I would take. On the bright side, no one has claimed that because the ship has a reverse bow that there will be green water regularly hitting the O-4 level 300ft+ from the bow. So some progress is being made.

      • D. Jones

        What sea states has the DDX actually been tested in?

        • USNVO

          I haven’t seen any report specifically on what sea state they tested the actual ship to, but the 150ft scale model was tested to a scale Sea State 8 without issues. Since neither of the first ships is actually finished yet, I doubt they have done much testing in high seastate, but the ZUMWALT was found to be more stable than the calculations during INSURV trials. Additionally they do an incline test on all lead ships in a class to validate the stability model, but that is done in calm conditions and the incline is usually less than 4 degrees or so (if for no other reason than that takes a lot of weight to achieve). I haven’t seen any results but I am assuming ZUMWALT passed without an issue since no one made a huge fuss, unlike say the FFG-7, MCM-1, or CG-47 which were all found to be right on the edge for certain damaged stability conditions.

  • Gundog15

    All you wannabe naval architects and engineers with your “informed” judgments on ship design and requirements make me laugh.

    • old guy

      Whoa there,. cowboy. First, I was at DTNSRDC when “O;d Flopover” flopped.
      2. I retired from Navy as, Director S&T, after being Director, Ship R&D (SEA 003).
      3. I was involvcd in the development of SES, AALC, PHM and lots of other good stuff.
      4. I AM a NAVAL ARCHITECT, unlike the guys that designed this travesty, and named it after my old boss.

      • Gundog15

        Good for you.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Umm, I thought you have been lecturing us all about how guns are useless against ships? Well, no matter. The simple truth is that with the cancellation of the original rounds for the AGS, there is NOTHING that will salvage them. To ‘re-purpose’ these ships in the way you describe sounds an awful lot like the Navy is indeed leaning towards out-and-out replacing the guns with additional missiles.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    My bad Duane, the article clearly states that the Navy took ‘partial delivery’. I stand corrected. So, with that said, and given the schedules announced for full acceptance, would you want to make a wager as to any rounds being ready for their AGS? Because I say again there is NO proof that I can fnd that the Navy is pursuing ANY replacement rounds.

  • Icepilot

    “commissioning in January 2019 and for the combat system installation, activation and testing.”

    Right. I’m sure that will work perfectly – Commissioning, then weapons.

  • Secundius

    Design Objective for the Rail Gun is ~3,000-rounds, NOT 1,000 rounds or LESS…

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Yeah, right Duane. Near misses from shells that have no explosives in them sure will cause damage to ships! HE remains a pipe dream unless they are fired from a POWDERED gun! But if that pipe dream ever becomes reality, where explosive material can be packed into a round, and an actual rail gun can fire it, how MUCH explosive can be packed into a 25 pound projectile? Because the WEIGHT of that projectile has everything to do with its range.

    And Duane, even if that rail gun does come about, and can shoot a 25 pound shell a hundred miles, isn’t the ship carrying it limited the same way that 5 inch equipped ship is? It does have to be able to see its target, right?

    • Centaurus

      Let’s tip guns with small 1 Kt Nuke ordinance ? If its clean, who will know the difference ?

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Well, maybe the troops onshore who the guns are supporting?

        • Centaurus

          It’s called “being in Harm’s Way !!!” Ya jamoke.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            It’s called common sense you twit. If you’re gonna spew your drive by rants, be man enough to take what;s coming back at you. or as you say, when you venture into ‘harm’s way’.

            Run along now, I don’t want you to miss any of your favorite cartoons.

          • Centaurus

            No, I can see you’re missing The Flintstones and/or Scooby Doo, butterbuttface

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Another one who can’t even be original. I’ve seen your tripe before. You post on here under other names. What a wuss. i’m confident you’ll meet s fellow on here who shares your interests. Good luck with all that.

          • Centaurus

            You can’t be missed. Ever…endless troll that lives for this cheezeweenie
            “forum” of old tuesday-1/8-backs. Poof ****

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yep, we have seen you before on here under other names. Typical cowardly antic. But that is soooo you..

            As for the rest of your rant, I don’t read or speak Gibberish. Perhaps someone who can will weigh in and translate. Until then……

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Hey Duane, the facts back me up. YOU are the one who calls the Navy ‘stupid’ and worse when they reject the things you shill for, like the Mk 110. Remember YOUR words that ALL testers in the Navy are ‘auditors’ who sit at desks only? Hmmm? You hypocritical twit.

    And how has the AGS turned out, hmmm? Just like with your beloved LCS, STUPIDITY has too often reigned supreme. Thankfully other Navy programs are not so poorly run, like the Virginia class subs and the Arleigh Burkes.

    Know your subject before opening thy pie hole. You’ll be the better for it if you ever heed that..

  • Chesapeakeguy

    I know that. I don’t argue it. The HVP at present is a lightweight (25 lbs) shell that uses kinetic energy only. Any proposed rounds that carry actual high explosives are projected for firing from those powder fired guns mentioned. How much they will have to alter a shell to carry a respectable amount of HE obviously remains to be seen.

  • conopscom

    Here is a good discussion:
    – “Zumwalt Fiasco Looking Worse”:
    navy-matters. blogspot. com/2018/04/zumwalt-fiasco-looking-worse.html

    “So what we’ve elected to do is to separate the gun effort from the ship effort because we really got to the point where now we’re holding up the ship.”
    – without the AGS, there is no ship. The ship has no purpose or use. You never, never, never, never design and build a ship around non-existent technology. It’s failed every time it’s been tried and the Zumwalt was no exception.

    “…the system was also failing to achieve the range it wanted …”
    – so, not only was the cost on an exploding, runaway trajectory (unlike the munition itself!) but the performance was inadequate. The system couldn’t achieve the claimed range.

  • Secundius

    According to “Real Defense Media”, USS Gearld Ford is returning home because of Technical Problems associated with its New Propulsion Sysyem. AGAIN…