Home » Budget Industry » Navy Studying Hyper Velocity Projectile, Other Ammo for Zumwalt Guns


Navy Studying Hyper Velocity Projectile, Other Ammo for Zumwalt Guns

Guided-missile destroyer Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) is made ready before flooding of the dry dock at General Dynamic-Bath Iron Works shipyard. US Navy Photo

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Navy is still looking at a variety of options to arm the dormant 155mm Advanced Gun Systems aboard the Zumwalt-class of guided-missile destroyers, the service’s DDG-1000 program manager said on Wednesday.

The rounds Naval Sea Systems Command is studying for the BAE-built AGS include the hyper velocity projectile built for the electromagnetic railgun that’s also being tested with the Navy’s standard 5-inch gun, Capt. Kevin Smith said during a presentation at the Surface Navy Association Symposium.

“That is one thing that has been considered with respect to capability for this ship class. We’re looking at a longer-range bullet that’s affordable, and so that’s one thing that’s being considered,” Smith said.
“There are a lot of things that we’re looking at as far as deeper magazines with other types of weapons that have longer range.”

Smith did not specify the other types of ammunition NAVSEA was studying, however, the Navy had previously considered the guided Raytheon Excalibur 155mm guided artillery round that has been fielded by the Army and Marines but abandoned the plan.

In 2017, USNI News reported that the Zumwalts would be retooled from their original focus of supporting troops ashore from the littorals into a blue water, surface strike combatant that will field Standard Missile 6s and a maritime strike version of the Tomahawk land-attack missile

The three Zumwalts are designed around two major AGS installations ahead of the deckhouse and the ammunition magazines underneath the deck of the destroyer.

The AGS was designed to field the Lockheed Martin Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) rounds that were custom-designed for the system. The service’s planned buy of the 2,000 rocket-assisted guided projectiles was abandoned when the cost of each round rose to about $1 million.

“The surface Navy is really excited about this capability,” Smith said. “But yeah, there’s nothing being pursued per se except for testing, and still watching industry.”

Apart from AGS, the Navy is continuing to test the combat system for first-in-class Zumwalt ahead of a planned 2020 initial operational capability, Smith said.

Part of that work includes tests of the ship’s combat system aboard the Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship (SDTS), the former USS Paul Foster. The Zumwalts field a Raytheon combat system that is unique to the class. As part of the testing, the SDTS will fire a certain number of missiles using the Raytheon combat system. In parallel, the Navy is testing the AN/SPY-3 radar at an installation at Wallops Island test facility.

“A lot of good work here, and we’re looking forward to collecting some good data from the live ordinance events,” Smith said.

The second ship in the class, Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001)., delivered to the Navy in April and arrived in San Diego Calif., on Dec. 7. The third ship, Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002), was launched on Dec. 9.

  • Ed L

    Deepwater! Cool

  • Sully

    Why don’t they use it’s massive electrical generation to test railguns and lasers? It was designed to field these future weapons, but both proved bogus. Read G2mil if you don’t know why. But they will still spend massive sums “developing” railguns and lasers over the next hundred years.

    Then they went for the 155m gun based on lies and it failed. Now they want to pour more money down this rathole. Retire these three undeployable dysfunctional disasters and move on! Field MK-71 8-inch guns.

    • DaSaint

      Anything that can go into drydock can be modified. No sense retiring new hulls. If necessary, the AGS could be replaced by VLS.

      • Duane

        It’s already got an 80 cell Mk 57 VLS.

        Most likely replacement will be railguns in a few years, when ready.

        • Rob C.

          I doubt it, their not pumping enough money into the program to overcome the technical hurtles. Thus why they didn’t test fire the railgun on a ship.

          However, apparently the projectile for the gun itself usable for normal guns and adds some range. So 5inchers are getting modified version of the shell for the railgun.

          • Duane

            Railguns are blasting ahead meeting program objectives. It is true that the Navy and Congress need to fund it more heavily than they have to date, given that railguns will end up being the saviors of the surface fleet against humongous salvos of long range ASCMs that China can already fire today from a wide variety of platforms. They can fire far more missiles than a CG or DDG can possibly fire back as interceptors. The cost of a ASCM salvo of 1,000 missiles at under a million per missile is 1/15 the value of a CSG. The ratio of dead American sailors to dead attackers is essentially infinity – 7,000 to 0. They’ll take that trade every time.

    • Centaurus

      Yeah lasers, lasers, lasers…blinding facemelting lasers. Slab lasers, free-electron lasers, Deuterium Fluoride lasers, diode lasers. Step right up and get yer lasers here. Come one come all to the Navy laser show.

    • Secundius

      Not very likely! Ring Mounts of the ASG is ~2,552.7mm in diameter, and on the Mk.71 8-inch gun is ~6,257.9mm in diameter. Which would require a complete modification of the “Zumwalt’s” Deck Gun Mounts, or ~18-months minimum modification work. Always assuming that there are ANY Mk.28 or Mk.32 8-inch guns still in inventory. In October 2016, the US Army Watervliet Arsenal was tasked to the Destruction of ~15,595 16-inch Naval Projectiles, Gun Barrels, Breaches, and Powder Charges. I suspect they did the same to the Mk.28 and Mk.32 Guns as well…

    • RunningBear

      The 1,000 round goal for the rail gun is waiting the testing of both a new barrel material and a new cooling design.
      Fly Navy
      🙂

      • Secundius

        Who’s goal is that! US Navy requirements for Rail Gun is 3,000-rounds…

        • Duane

          3,000 rounds is what Dahlgren expects to get to, but the R&D program objective was 1,000+ rounds.

          • Refguy

            1000+ at what firing rate?

          • Duane

            10 shots per minute is the program objective. It has already been met at lower power levels (around 10-12 MJ) but Dahlgren and GA are working to get that firing rate up to 32 MJ for the very long range fires (100+nm) that the Navy desires.

            Of course, even at the lower power levels, a 10 spm rate and long barrel life makes it ideal for a medium range missile defense system, which is the greatest value of railguns for our surface fleet. You don’t need to range out to 100 nm to defend against missiles (cruise or ballistic) – 20 to 30 mile range is perfect for area missile defense.

          • Refguy

            Thanks

        • Because a ship totally needs to be able to empty its magazines 5-10 times before replacing its barrels? The railgun should have a threshold barrel life of around 500 rounds (that’s nearly twice that of a battleship’s 16″ guns) and then focus on extending barrel life after the weapon is deployed.

          • Duane

            It’s already well over 1,000 rounds (the R&D program objective) as of a year ago … expecting to get upwards of several thousand rounds eventually.

            By the way, the 8 in guns on our WW Two era heavy cruisers were only good for 600-700 rounds before the barrel needed replacement. And the 16 in. guns on our BBs were only good for 250-300 rounds.

          • Secundius

            Mk.7 16-inch Rifled Gun Barrel had a average lifespan of ~390-rounds, depending on how many Propellant Powder Charges were used…

          • Duane

            Yup .. besides, the barrel on a 155mm gun is not really that big, so it could be carried as an onboard spare and replaced, if not at sea, then at least when tied up to the dock.

            Not like the barrels on the BBs or heavy cruisers.

        • Centaurus

          The taxpayer always loves how the Navy portrays its warships in such a stunningly functional manner, yet when we finally put them in the water, nobody is quite sure what they’re going to be armed with. That is a bass-ackwards way of doing things. Why not just call them the “evolving-battleship-like-floating electric” thing ? USS Zulmwalt our a**.

      • Duane

        That (1,000+ rounds barrels) was already accomplished a year ago. They’re looking to get that up to several thousand rounds eventually .. but for the moment the main objective is getting to 32 MJ for the 100+ nm range originally envisioned while retaining at least 10 shots per minute firing rate. And much of the engineering is also focused now on power management and storage systems.

        • RunningBear

          I agree that building to the 32MJ is a goal for the railgun and I’m glad to hear that a barrel has completed the 1,000 round requirement but please provide the link for my reference. I’m most interested in “how” they achieved the cooling issue and what material type was implemented. The single shot was no issue and getting to the 10/min. was a “next” goal that I apparently have missed.
          Thanks in advance
          Fly Navy
          🙂

          • Duane

            USNI doesn’t allow links.

            Dahlgren and GA announced the 1,000+ shots objective a little less than a year ago, when the Army inked a new contract with GA to build upon their success in the naval railgun to develop an Army railgun. Dahlgren and GA don’t keep updated reports on railgun on their respective websites.

          • navweap

            This is a fake news: Dahlgren has never made such announcement.
            Otherwise, please provide a link to prove this assertion (insert spaces into link around the dots to avoid USNI banning).

          • Duane

            The only fake is you crying fake news. USNI doesn’t allow links.

            It was announced last year when the Army made its official announcement of a new railgun development contract with GA. It was stated specifically that the 1,000+ round barrel life milestone had been achieved and was part of the basis of the decision of the Army to contract for its own railgun.

          • navweap

            Army has a long history of the railgun’s research since 80s, so its not surprising. However, is was never officially acknowledged that the barrel life of 1,000 rounds was ever achieved. Otherwise, please provide a proof.

            To avoid USNI ban of links, insert spaces around the dots, like this:
            www . ga . com/general-atomics-awarded-army-contract-to-advance-railgun-weapon-system-technology

          • Secundius

            As I recall, the Report was also “Fudged” because all rounds fired were from the Test Rail Gun (i.e. 7.5-MJ) and not the 32-MJ or 64-MJ Rail Guns…

          • Duane

            No fudging involved. There is no 32MJ or 64MJ railgun, at least not yet. The 32MJ energy release is an ultimate objective to get to the 100+ nm desired max range for offensive fires, but is completely unnecessary for air and missile defense at much shorter ranges. Never heard of a 64MJ gun .. it is not part of the existing R&D program.

          • Secundius

            Using the 7.5MJ Rail Gun and passing the Test Results to the 32MJ Rail Gun. Is like Firing the 30mm Bushmaster and claiming the Mk.54 Mod.4 5-inch gun works fine…

          • navweap

            64MJ was a goal set in the initial Navy’s proposal as highlighted in the NARC 2004 report on the railgun technology. Such muzzle energy was chosen specifically because only then its kinetic energy ON THE TARGET could compete with the blast energies of the ERGM (soon cancelled after that) and LRLAP (which HE charge was initially much smaller – 17MJ vs current 65MJ)
            However, as the railgun program has started, they quickly changed the goals to much smaller numbers – 32MJ and, some time ago, even 20MJ.

  • RunningBear

    Unless the AGS can be cheaply modified for other type rounds, the concept has little to “No” potential for future development. (restating the obvious??)
    IMHO
    Fly Navy
    🙂

    • Mk-Ultra

      How “cheap” is cheap? Couple hundred million? Couple ten thousand million?

      • RunningBear

        Gun Launched Guided Projectiles are proposed at $80-100K ea.
        Fly Navy
        🙂

  • Sir Bateman

    I can’t help but feel that when it came to the Zumwalt’s “Advanced Gun System” that the powers at be put the cart before the horse. By that I mean perhaps the USN should’ve started off with a much more simple and basic munition before going hog wild trying to develop a precision guided rocket propelled artillery shell completely unique to the AGS. That is, first get a reliable, affordable and effective munition in service and then as technology and budget allow develop ever more complex and lethal munitions.

    • Secundius

      Said “Cart” (i.e. AGS Gun Rifling) was invented in 1861 and last used “Actively” in 2003 on the M551 “Sheridan” Light Airborne Tank…

    • Duane

      Nothing “hog wild” about it – it was the Navy’s attempt to develop very long range artillery fires for a stealthy littoral warship to use in land attack. That seemed like a valuable capability a couple of decades ago, but threats evolved and it was no longer considered a priority fleet capability by the 2010s.

    • A short range unguided 6″ gun is next to useless. Your proposal is akin to saying the Navy should first develop a short range unguided rocket for new missile launchers before starting work on the actual missile.

      Further, the LRLAP / AGS combination worked perfectly and a low rate production run of 241 rounds was procured in 2015 at a unit cost of just $359k each. I highly doubt full rate production would have been any more expensive, and quite likely would have been significantly cheaper.

    • Centaurus

      The taxpayer always loves how the Navy portrays its warships in such a stunningly functional manner, yet when we finally put them in the water, nobody is quite sure what they’re going to be armed with. That is a bass-ackwards way of doing things. Why not just call them the “evolving-battleship-like-floating electric” thing ? Yippie !!!

    • Rocco

      Bongo!!

    • Secundius

      Rifling in the 155mm AGS (i.e. Plymouth Rifling) was designed in 1861 and last used in 2003 on the M551 “Sheridan” Light Airborne Tank…

    • SierraSierraQuebec

      A base bleed unguided shell for the AGS would weigh around 200lb and have a maximum range of around 50km, nothing spectacular but at least minimally useful in a permissive operational environment as were the Des Moines class’ 8″ guns. Perhaps if they get an HVP anti-missile shell effective to 2-10km with it (assuming a fast cost-effective development) the guns might have some value despite the fact that there are only six of these weapons.
      A future fleet solution would be a merging of BAE and Oto Melara designs in a 18MJ 155mm titanium rifle with ample growth potential for a 30-50MJ ETC optionally boosted cannon farther down the road.

      • Sir Bateman

        Back when the concepts of what would eventually result in the Zumwalts was being bounced around wasn’t it at first suggested to go with a vertical gun in lieu of a traditional turret mounted artillery tube? But the USN put the kibosh on that because that sort of arrangement would’ve precluded any sort of conventional ballistic round from ever being utilized? But once the AGS and LRLAP were developed they only thing they could fire out of the AGS was LRLAP, thereby negating whatever advantages of going with a conventional turret design?

  • Michael Hoskins, Privileged

    I’m just a simple mechanical engineer. So, I need someone to ‘splain me:
    1. Yeah, I get it that someone designed an automated magazine with cells so specialized that they can only take one sized projectile, an 80 something inch long thing-a-ma-bob. So, being simple minded, I just make a cage like spacer fit in the magazine or, more probably, on the tail of the 155 round of your choice, and load her up. The spacer separates like any other sabot, etc. Powder cases, easy to do as well. Why is that so hard to do? (Yeah, NIH issues and some testing needed.)?????
    2. At some point it is either a gun or a cylindrical missile launcher. Which?
    3. I understand how developmental costs are accounted for in the unit cost of military hardware thus the bigger the buy, the lower unit costs. So, program cancelled, the developmental costs have been paid, someway on some budget line or another. If LRLAP were re-started, why does it have to recoup the already paid for development costs? Does the manufacturer get a second bite? The best business model then becomes, develop a military program, have it cancelled while being reimbursed for cost of program, wait a year, get it re-started with unit costs to include the sunk costs. Wow, what a deal!
    4. How hard is it to upgrade land attack to a maritime version. Software, some sensor stuff. The LRLAP is a pretty big box. Bet NSM/Harpoon/ what ever can be shock mounted and used. But, of course, missile/ electronic lobbies don’t get to do more whiz bang.

    ta

    • old guy

      Ah, your jus’ usin’ yur nollej an’ commin senss, to figyer out that this is awl jes smoke an’ mirriz.
      Seriously, everything you state is correct. Keep up the pressure. You will, as I, find plenty of counters; some worth considering and others beyund belief.

    • Duane

      The ability to engineer the round and the gun itself is not the issue. The issue is that the mission evaporated so the gun and its ammo are no longer desired by the Navy.

      Medium range land attack by littoral warships is a mission that probably never should have been, but eventually the Navy figured out that it was a mission they no longer needed.

      • Michael Hoskins, Privileged

        Disagree. You’ve got six guns and nothing, absolutely nothing to send down range. Heck, when USS Laffey was attacked by kamikaze at Okinawa they even fired their BL&P and loading machine rounds.

        What we really have is egg meeting the face of the previous congress for cutting the build out.

        From my original post, R&D are now sunk costs. The LRLAP can not be bought at the unit manufacturing rate. I know, it’s not how it’s done. But it should be.

        • Duane

          The Navy officially declared the stealth littoral land attack mission is over, done.

          The mission now – again, as assigned by the Navy – is fleet support, both offensively and defensively. For that the existing 80 cell Mk 57 VLS is quite sufficient and deadly.

          The two 155s are likely to be supplanted by something else – at least one railgun, and quite possibly a new gun and round for the other 155 mount. The rounds and guns were custom-fitted to each other, so changing out the round probably means changing out the gun too, or completely reengineering the LRLAP round.

          • Michael Hoskins, Privileged

            So, a Zoomie happens to be at sea when some sort of emergent situation requires a couple of companies of marines to, say, make an extraction. The situation evolves. Bad guys are just out of range of 5” guns, but wait, a Zoom boat was attached to this quick reaction force on the fly and it has a couple of 155’s, perfect. Marine forward controller sets up, gets ready to call fire…what, no bullets? You gotta be s****** me.

            When a warship goes to sea it has to be able to use whatever it has, regardless less than perfect. At the very least they need to be fitted out with modified conventional 155mm rounds, without gun mods, or even Excalibur.

            As an aside, let’s not get lost in the uniqueness of the gun. It can all be done with the bullet. For example, spin can but adjusted by stub fins on the round after leaving the barrel.

            Ta

          • Secundius

            Only one problem! Both AGS Magazines are EMPTY…

          • Michael Hoskins, Privileged

            Uhh…wasn’t that my point?

          • Secundius

            My bad! Sarcasm is a little hard to follow…

          • Duane

            Say what you will, but the role no longer exists according to naval leaders.

            We haven’t had a “land bombardment gun warship” since the BBs were decommissioned for the last time nearly decades ago. All replaced with land attack missiles on CGs and DDGs, and of course by attack aircraft and missiles launched by aircraft.

          • Michael Hoskins, Privileged

            Right! A million dollar missile instead of a $10,000 round or three, and even cheaper if it is a dumb ballistic projectile.
            Why do Army and Marine units even bother with guns…

          • M van dongen

            If they can rig HVP rounds to function….those come with guided options as well. Anti-Ship as well as Anti-Air.

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      I’m pretty sure the big differences of a land-attack TLAM and a “maritime version” is a pretty big difference — TLAMs have no seekers of any kind (I don’t think.) Previously (before the Block IV) they were guided initially by inertial guidance (strictly) — ie, launch, turn to the left 10 degrees, fly 750 miles, turn to the right 5 degrees, fly 50 miles, etc. — then the TERCOM kicked in, which took pictures of the area, and used the computer on-board to match the pictures it just took with pictures previously loaded in it’s memory. As a result, it took more than 80+ HOURS for a single TLAM strike. Contrast this with, for example, the TASM, which had no TERCOM or picture-taking, etc… it simply launched, flew a set direction for the set time/distance, then turned on an active radar seeker, seeking out the target. Apparently it could fly search patterns if it could not locate the target or for ‘re-attack’ — the problem was, the Navy didn’t actually believe the TASM would hit what it was aimed at… if it can fly 250 miles, at 550 mph, that’s what, about a half-hour worth of time? And in that time, a ship could be moving 30+ knots in any direction, so when the TASM gets there, it looks for it’s target, it would just pick out whatever it found first (which could be an LCS-like ship rather than a Kuznetsov, or could be a fishing ship that was unlucky) … The Block IV is designed to have all sorts of targeting ability, retargeting, they can even be launched and set to cruise control, then a while later, “Ok the F-35 got into the area and did some recon, hit the ship on the left …” etc. —- Now as far as the LRLAP, I have stated many times on this very forum how I feel, and I always get a few people arguing to no end. There has been several different “reasons” stated why they can’t make the AGS work with another ammo — and the two most prevailing points of view are the barrels and the ammo handling system/the entire system design….. Both this and other websites have run articles by Naval leadership stating that the barrels of the AGS were designed *specifically* for the LRLAP and due to the nature of the rifling/twist (lack-thereof or close to it) they will not stabilize a “regular” round. Further, sources have also said THAT’s not the problem, the problem is the entire system was set up to be automated for the LRLAP, and therefore can’t work “normally” — I just don’t see why you could not, at a BARE MINIMUM, take for example a USMC artillery team, and say listen, we’re going to put you to work on the AGS… instead of using an M777, you’re going to be cruising on a Zumwalt, and you’re loading various 155mm rounds to shoot at either shore or ships, and say, figure it out, and at least we can shoot 155mm ‘artillery’ at shore or ships. It’s hard for me to believe if you told a group of Marine artillery experts “Can you get this done??” given proper support and money/manpower/equipment help, and knowing those selfsame guns are probably going to be shooting at stuff that is shooting back at Marines, they would not get it done eagerly.

      • Michael Hoskins, Privileged

        Heck, I bet the army could solve the issues too! NIH. LOL.

        • Ser Arthur Dayne

          Fair enough, I’m down with the Army too, I didn’t mean they couldn’t, perhaps even better. I just figured, it would be more likely to see a Marine contingent on a Navy ship than Army, but you’re absolutely right sir.

    • old guy

      In 1977, my guys in NAVSEA003/03R invented the “Linear Ellectrical Accelerator.” in conjunction with DOE. We ran a series of application tests including missile launcher, aircraft catapult, gun, and transport (cotainers, flats, aircraft). in use, a magnetic floor, During the gun experiments we took a branch using an electricaily generated plasma to accelerate a round in a barrel without gunpowder (ETC) . It was a great success in that we could use existing guns. We rapid fired a 20mm autoload version and a 3 inch, hand load test. We ran extensive “Rail Gun” tests.

      RESULTING RECOMENDATIONS
      1. Missile launcher…success. Transferred to Air Force for development.
      2. Aircraft catapult, Best application. Transferred to Lakehurst (now EMALS).
      3, Magnetic floor, FAILURE, Too complex.
      4. Rail gun FAILURE, loading, round size potenial, severe electrical requirement
      5. ETC partial failure, high electrical requirement (about 1/3 of railgun).

      The railgun is a failure, so this saboted hypersonic missile can be peddled as a successful offshoot. It is still small caliber and unguided. If they grow it, it becomes our recomended missile launcher.
      Don’t let the hype get in your eyes.

  • Matt

    Why tell our adversaries what our weapons will be before they are even ready to fight? With one ship we are years away from knowing the truth. But obviously the guns will be railguns.

  • Don’t get it

    They claim that the era of the battleship is over…… yea bet you miss them 16 inch guns now ……….

    • Mk-Ultra

      Not really. Wars are no longer fault with simple naval cannon bombardment. It’s fought with exact, precision attacks. That was the whole point of the AGS and LRLAP shells. Rocket assisted, precision guided shells.

      • Don’t get it

        True but I still think that quantity can stand a good chance of beating the US. It is the tactic the US, UK and USSR used to beat Germany in ww2. But then again in today’s war a few nukes and its all over for everyone.

        • Andy Ferguson

          How’d that work out in Desert Storm?

          • Don’t get it

            Well perhaps if they was willing to fight and not surrender in mass that would make the difference and they really didn’t have quantity over the US and the other 20 or so nations in that war but even if you discount that it did work in ww2 Korea and Vietnam so even by your numbers its 3 -1

          • Andy Ferguson

            Nope.

            The Iraqi army was larger in size.

            Go ahead, cite some sources to prove the Allies outnumbered them.

          • Don’t get it

            Iraq meanwhile built up its occupying army in Kuwait to about 300,000 troops. By January 1991 the allied coalition against Iraq had reached a strength of 700,000 troops, including 540,000 U.S. personnel and smaller numbers of British, French, Egyptians, Saudis, Syrians, and several other national contingents.  https://www.britannica dot com /event/Persian-Gulf-War just fix the dot com part

        • Jimbo86

          Partially. Germany had enough manpower on the Western front that if it was just numbers, they should have held and delayed the Allies longer. Nope the Allies had plenty of quality of their own and additional force multipliers on their side to enable them to make the rapid advance they did.

          • Don’t get it

            That’s true, I should of said eastern front. A pre t-34 eastern front .

        • Duane

          We may have defeated the Axis powers in WW Two, but at tremendous cost – our deadliest foreign war in history, approx. 300 thousand KIA. Our bomber crews in the US Eighth AF in Europe missed most of their targets most of the time, and suffered horrendous casualties (about 20% of all bomber crews were casualties).

          We did more damage to Japan using area bombing with incendiaries and of course the two nukes, but at the expense of humongous civilian casualties.

          Precision is what war is all about in the 21st century … it yields vastly greater effects with far fewer casualties, both our own and the civilians of the enemy.

          • Don’t get it

            That my all be true, but like in Korea if we go up against a enemy that sends mass human waves or long drawn out battles. With little or no care about casualties civilian or other wise. We will lose because we ( the US ) cant take casualties. And a enemy with equipment from within the last 15 – 20 years. Could cost us mass casualties with a massive bombardment. We lost a over 5,000 in Iraq and people wanted to leave asap ( not saying the war was right or a good choice) Look at Korea 36,574 dead or Vietnam 58,318 dead. Wars were we did not win, we would’ve won Korea. But the Chinese poured across the border in mass and saved the North Korean army. ( with help from the USSR)

          • Secundius

            It’s not likely that the United States will either Pull Out or Stop its support with IT’s “Allies” anytime soon…

            ( https : // www . stripes . com / news/europe/house-lawmakers-approve-new-nato-protections-1.565580 )

          • Don’t get it

            That’s good they need to pass that. But my fear is nether NATO or the EU is strong enough to be a big help. NATO use to be strong enough, but if I am not mistaken. Only 6 or 8 of the 28 nations pay their part or train up to the standard needed. Germanys air force is week and its subs are old and not in good condition. And it needs to be the first major road block for russia in my opinion

          • Secundius

            As I recall the mandatory 2% Defense Budget that each NATO country is required to fulfill doesn’t begin until 2023. Donald Trump is trying to Force the Issue Alone before the 2023 Deadline…

          • Don’t get it

            Ok but what about the training and upkeep of there military?

          • Secundius

            What about it! As I said the 2% Mandate doesn’t start until 2023. If their not Maintaining them, We are. What’s the Difference between Maintaining “NATO” and Maintaining “Israel”, or any other Regional Power’s we have alliances with…

          • Don’t get it

            Well if NATO is supposed to help us it needs to have the military to do it they could at least upkeep their current military unless you have a crystal ball and know that there will be no military conflicts until after 2023 ……. some are still flying f4s mig21s su22s and m60 patton with a 105mm barrel when russia up graded their t72s with a 120mm barrel they dont have to have 2% right now just upgrade what they got

          • Secundius

            NATO countries aren’t required to get permission from the United States on the type of Weaponry they use. Some are still using AK-47, first adopted in 1949. While the United States still uses the M2 Heavy Machinegun introduced in 1933…

          • Don’t get it

            Ok well tell the us troops on the ground that they can trust the mig 21s flying support over them when the mig 29 or 35 shows up and shoots them out of the sky

          • Secundius

            B-52 entered service in 1955, and the A-10 in 1977…

          • Don’t get it

            Yep and there replaying both aircraft the b 52 is being replaced by the b 21 and the a10 was supposed to replaced with the f35 jsf but that didnt work so now there working on a new replacement……. most of NATO are not replacing there aircraft a few are there getting the f 35

          • Secundius

            Not many NATO Countries can afford to buy an F-35 at ~$90-Million per plane, when they can get a Refurbished F-16C for only ~$18.8-Million per plane…

          • Don’t get it

            Hey I would be glad if the f 15 , f 16 , f18 was made the standard NATO aircraft there better then f4s mig21s or su22s they could even get France built aircraft they make good ones also or maybe the new Saab aircraft or even euro fighter would be a good replacement

          • Secundius

            But you also have NATO Countries and NATO Allied Countries that have their own indigenous Aircraft Manufacturers. Like: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the UK. A “Hodge-Podge” of countries to choose from…

          • Don’t get it

            As long as there up standards of the f 15, 16, 18 that’s good they need them more then the mig 21s f4s and su22s

          • Secundius

            Belgium’s “SABCA”, Demark’s “Terma A/S” , the Netherlands “Fokker” and Turkey’s “Turkish Aerospace Industry all have Licences to produce the F-16. The also have Licences to manufacture F-35 components…

          • Don’t get it

            Good hopefully Romania, Poland and others will buy from them

          • Secundius

            Or get them Cheaper from us (i.e. the USA)! There’s a Whole Boneyard Air Force sitting in the Deserts or Arizona and New Mexico to be had. And a Rock Bottom Prices…

          • Don’t get it

            Well I am sure they would want flying ones but if we got some that’s flying and they want them sell them ( if we dont need them )

          • Secundius

            The United States, by way of the US Senate sells used, Ships, Tanks, and Aircraft’s all the time. It’s away of keep your “Allies”, ALLIES. “Give Them What They Want”…

          • Don’t get it

            Sounds good …. just hope no one makes a better offer to them ….

          • Secundius

            With the except of Turkey buying from Russia and the possibility of Greece buying from China. I doubt that’ll while happen. But I’m not about the Bet the House on that assumption…

          • Don’t get it

            Lol that’s a good way to put that. Yea Turkey buying the f35 and the s400 is a conflict of interest…BIG TIME

          • Secundius

            Turkey also wants to buy a few surplus USMC AV-8B Harrier II’s for their L-408 “Anadolu” Amphibious Assault Ship, because the F-35B’s are to big for the Ships Hangar…

          • Don’t get it

            How do you feel about the f35? Personally I dont know a lot about it but I think they tried to make it do to much from what I have read the RCS of a f22 is smaller and has better stealth at long range and that the f35 suck in a close up dog fight but are good in BVR dog fighting I really like f22 and the f15 strike eagles but I may be bias

          • Secundius

            It was reported that on 12 January 2017, a pair of Israeli F-35A’s attacked a Russian-made S-300 Missile Battery protecting Assads Presidential Palace in Damascus. Also Destroying a warehouse full of Russian-made Pantsir-S1 Mobile Missile Launchers. IF True, the Russian Air Defenses were rendered Totally Obsolete in just one raid. Both F-35A’s returned to Israeli Airspace without One Shot Fired by either the Russians or the Syrians…

          • Don’t get it

            That sounds good I wonder if the mig 35 or new sukhoi would be easily killed ? I would hope so

          • Secundius

            The Russian’s are forced to buy Chinese Engines of old Ukrainian design. Because the Russian Jet Engine company “Saturn” isn’t up to the challenge of making Quality Engines. To bad the Russians made War with the Ukraine Republic, or they might have a Quality Fighter Bomber, instead of a Piece of Crap…

          • Don’t get it

            They buy from the Chinese? There still trying to get there engines up to par with American engines

          • Secundius

            Problem is that Chinese Engines aren’t any better than Russian Engines. Instead of learning how to design a proper engine, the Chinese prefer to Copy from others. And their copies are usually inferior in workmanship to the original design. How a country can produce a quality Firearm, but make a substandard engine is beyond me…

          • Don’t get it

            I know, every time I see there aircraft carrier I keep thinking you didnt build that. I am not sure if there wishful thinking about the j20 is founded in truth or just hope

  • Ed L

    The Zumwalt’s DDG’s three one a kind vessels. Vessels that should be kept hidden from our Adversaries. Just like that fellow in the weeds a mile away with his sniper rifle or that missile from a drone. Hit them when they least expected.

    • Mk-Ultra

      How do you keep a 600 foot warship hidden?

      • Ed L

        It’s a Military secret.

      • RunningBear

        It’s like the F-35 is related to Wonder Woman’s invisible airplane.

        The RCS of the Zumwalt is similar to a 30-35′ sport fisherman/ cabincruiser, or a “whole lot smaller”!
        IMHO
        Fly Navy
        🙂

      • Andy Ferguson

        It’s a HUGE ocean….

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Ummm, help me here. If the railgun is needed to achieve ‘hyper velocity’ speeds of the projectiles involved, how will that happen with powder-fired guns? Now, I did notice that the article says that

    “The rounds Naval Sea Systems Command is studying for the BAE-built AGS
    include the hyper velocity projectile built for the electromagnetic
    railgun…”,but it doesn’t say anything about those shells actually achieving hyper velocity speeds when employed by the AGS. Is that it? If so wouldn’t that be like using supersonic missiles at subsonic speeds only?

    • RunningBear

      The physics of the sabot provide for Mach3+ from powder guns.
      The rail gun achieves Mach5+.
      Fly Navy
      🙂

    • waveshaper1

      This hypervelocity stuff seems to be a term of art that’s heavily manipulated in the physics/DoD/MIC world and has a somewhat more fluid definition when it comes to ordnance speeds within the Earths Atmosphere. The Dictionary of United States Army defines the term “HVP” as only applying to muzzle velocities: “Muzzle velocities of an artillery projectile of 3,500 ft/s or greater. Muzzle velocities of tank cannon projectiles in excess of 3,350 ft/s”.

      In my simple mind these HVP’s are only really “Army/MIC – Classified – Hyper Velocity Projectiles” while they are still in the muzzle/gun barrel (about 20 or 30 feet or so), provided that the muzzle/gun barrel is located within the earths atmosphere. I have no idea what the actual flight speed is of these fancy new HVP?

      In contrast, Hypersonic missiles are classified as flight through the atmosphere below about 90km (not in space) at speeds above Mach 5. This is the actual flight speed of Hypersonic cruise missiles/weapons/etc. IMHO, this is the best way to truly classify a weapons true speed, from the time it’s launched to target impact.

    • Mk-Ultra

      Yes, the railfun is required for the HVP shells to reach hyper velocity. Thats the whole point of the Railgun.

      Fired from the AGS, or any standard deck gun, it will reach subsonic speeds only, so yes it’s like using supersonic missiles at subsonic speeds

      There’s nothing wrong with using the HVP shells from a regular deck gun. The Navy just really liked what they saw from the ammunition testing for the Railgun. The HVP can be made with multiple configurations. From a simple kinetic round to your standard High Explosive/Armor Piercing round

      If the Navy chooses the HVP for the Zumwalts AGS, it’d be a fantastic choice if they also put a Railgun on them, since that way the Navy would be able to share the same ammunition on both the zumwalts weapons. That’ll give them more ammunition volume backup. The kinetic rounds even more so.

      • Refguy

        Any round should at least match the ~2500 fps of current guns (Mach 2+) and it shouldn’t be much of a challenge to develop a submunition that leaves the barrel at speeds close to the darts fired by the 120mm gun on the M1 tank (Mach 4+). They won’t be hypervelocity, but they won’t be subsonic either

        • Mk-Ultra

          Yeah maybe. I just know it obviously won’t reach Railgun speeds, and kinda figured the shells design should give them a speed increase over traditional shells. But no idea the specifics

          The HVP is too perfect for the Navy to not pick it for the AGS, with multiple configurations and the ability to share shells between the AGS and Railgun on the same ship, the Zumwalts. That’s a huge perk

        • RunningBear

          The government development programs indicate the Gun Launched Guided Projectile (sabots) exit the 5″ barrel at Mach3+ and the railgun barrel at Mach5+.
          Fly Navy
          🙂

      • Duane

        Actually, no – HVP in the 5-in gun will easily be supersonic as even the plain jane rounds used in today’s 5 in guns are supersonic (M2+). It won’t be hypersonic – which is defined as Mach 5+.

        It would be more correct to refer to HVP standing for “high velocity projectile” rather than “hyper”.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Well, if the railgun becomes operational, why would the Navy mount both on a Zumwalt? It was my understanding that the AGS is a stop gap until the railgun is fully developed. If the Navy wants to use the munition to get some utility from the AGS and to perhaps learn some lessons and amass some metrics, that’s all well and good. But to think that they would mount both the AGS and the railgun doesn’t make sense. RGs are to allow for the elimination of powder magazines as a safety measure for the ship. But it is obvious that the AGS is just sitting there with nothing to do right now. If the HVP can make them useable, so be it, so long as that is indeed THE best option.

  • THOR HAMMERSTRONG

    The three Zumwalt’s should be the surface fleet’s equivalent of the Sea wolf class.

    • Rocco

      Negative!!

  • RobM1981

    Funky looking ships.

    It would be nice if they were as groundbreaking as they appear. Getting the 6″ guns to work would be a step in the right direction (yeah, I know, 155 isn’t exactly the same, but “close enough…”)

    • Rocco

      No!!!…..That’s like saying shooting 38 specials + P’s out of a 357 Magnum!! Not the same but close enough!

  • Mk-Ultra

    Such a failure they’re continuing testing and the army is about to deploy their own Railgun artillery

    Massive failure for sure huh?

    • Duane

      Yup – the Army inked a contract last year with GA to build upon their success in the naval railgun to develop an Army railgun. Some failure indeed!

    • navweap

      Navy downplays their failure with the railgun because they pushed too hard earlier for its funding. But the CSBA recently expressed their concern about the value of this program:

      — “You are better off spending that money on missiles and vertical launch system cells than you are on a railgun,” Bryan Clark, a defense expert and former US Navy officer, told Business Insider. “They’re not a good replacement for a missile. They’re not a good replacement for an artillery shell”, Clark said. “It’s not useful military technology,” he added.

      “They [the Navy] are thinking that down the road they will eventually get some technological breakthroughs that would enable it to be more militarily useful,” Clark explained. “That is why they are continuing to invest in it rather than dropping it entirely.”

      • Duane

        No failures .. only successes to date. it’s an R&D program … no R&D can “fail” unless it stops. As for the R&D objectives set forth for the naval railgun, it’s met every single one of them but the one they’re still working on – raising the power to 32MJ for very long range fires while continuing to meet all the other objectives (barrel life, rate of fire, development of the projectile, and development of the power management systems) that have already been achieved at lower power levels (10-12 MJ).

  • publius_maximus_III

    Well they sure have a lot wasted juice generating capacity on these things then.

  • Harley Meiroff

    Answer-Iowa x 4🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    • Andy Ferguson

      No.

    • Secundius

      Not very likely! In October 2016, the US Army was tasked to Destroy ALL 16-inch Gun Projectiles (~15,595-rounds) ALL 16-inch Mk.17 16-inch Rifled Gun Barrels and ALL Propellant Powered Charges…

      • Carney3

        Hmm maybe revive the USS Salem then. Higher rate of fire than the Iowas, automated loaders reducing crew size and operational costs.

        • Secundius

          To make USS Salem a Museum Ship, the guns were rendered inoperable. ALL the guns were…

          • Carney3

            I see. What a shame

          • Secundius

            After 9/11 nobody is taking any chances. Active Guns on a Museum Ship could and most probably would be used as a WMD to anyone living in the Host City…

          • Carney3

            Useless without shells and powder, which could be stored in an armory somewhere else. And any complicated conspiracy to bring them together would be like stealing a tank or a warplane.

          • Secundius

            Useless PERIOD! Gun were Demilitarized Permanently so they can’t be fire again. You’d have to replace the Entire Gun Mount, Guns and Machinery to operate the guns to put the Ship back into commission, which will never happen…

          • Carney3

            I understand the guns have been disabled. My point was that fears of terrorists using them to shell the city don’t make much sense. It shouldn’t have been necessary to ruin those guns. Simply ensure that the shells and powder aren’t on board.

          • Secundius

            For C____t Sake’s, you can “Google”, “Yahoo”, “Duck Duck”, whatever up anything you want to know about virtually any WWII Ship class on you computer. You can even Download the Operations Manuals if you were so inclined to do so. Just go to “YouTube” and they’ll provide Video Information on how it was done. You honestly think that WWII Artillery Rounds (i.e. US Navy or US Army) is protected information and can’t be duplicated anywhere else. Pakistan use to have WWII US Navy Ships in their Navy. And probably still produce the Ammunition for those Navy Guns for export to those countries that still use them…

          • Carney3

            I didn’t say it was impossible. I said that not having the shells and powder on site drastically reduces the odds of any such attack. At that point it requires a drastically much more complicated conspiracy, arguably even more complicated than, say, stealing a warplane and using it to bomb the city.

          • Secundius

            Really! On 23 May 1969, Sergeant Paul Meyers stole a C-130E, on 20 May 1956, Airman First Class George Johnson stole an F-86. And that was just from the Air Force…

          • Carney3

            Well then I guess we should cripple every warplane on US soil, just like the USS Salem. That’s according to YOUR logic.

          • Secundius

            The only Museum Aircraft’s that I’m aware of are either IN Museums hung from the ceiling by Piano Wire or are on display on USS Interpid (i.e. Museum Ship)…

  • RTColorado

    Heh, wait a minute…if the Navy uses an electromagnetic rail gun on the Zumwald, isn’t everyone onboard going to get electrocuted…I mean everyone knows you don’t mix water and electricity, right ? Also, if it is an electromagnetic gun, when it fires won’t everything metal stick to each other ? I know what you’re thinking “Heh, those sentences didn’t make any sense”, as if this whole line of ship development makes any sense.

    • RunningBear

      Think of it as a technology demonstrator, for a nominal fee??
      IMHO
      Fly Navy
      🙂

  • mrsatyre

    What an excruciating embarrassment. Bets that by the time a round is approved and purchased in quantity that either the guns will either no longer work/need to be replaced, or the ships themselves will have reached the end of their lives, and be scrapped?

    • Rocco

      You think!!!

    • Duane

      You’re doing the same thing most critics do, which is to ignore the 80 cell Mk 57 VLS. The Zums never were pure gun platforms.

  • Harley Meiroff

    Would someone who “really knows”, comment on the survivability of our modern warships. My background deals more with naval history. The slick look of the modern warship, while having their own character, doesn’t instill a feeling of survival, IMHO.
    Thanks

    • I don’t know if anyone “really knows” seeing as so few modern warships have sustained damage. However, I would trust a modern US ship over a WWII ship of equivalent size any day.

      • Secundius

        There is at least one! The FFG-31, USS “Stark” on 17 May 1987. Which was hit by two French-made Aerospatiale AM.39 “Exocet” missiles…

        ( https : // medium . com / war-is-boring/in-1987-a-secret-iraqi-warplane-struck-an-american-frigate-and-killed-37-sailors-b341a948fa21 )

        • Rocco

          And if it hit a LCS it would of been all hands perished!

          • Secundius

            Two missiles most likely. But “Swift” was hit by a Chinese-made C-802 with a 363-pound High-Explosive Thermobaric Fragmentation warhead and survived. Killing 2 of her 36-crew…

          • Duane

            Nope – any more than all hands on the UAE Swift boat were killed when it was hit by a Silkworm in 2016. A far smaller vessel, no defenses, also made of aluminum.

    • Rocco

      History can only repeat itself if we let it! I’m with you on that bro! Victory goes to the one who can play Chess…Not game of thrones!

    • Duane

      “Survivability” of modern surface warships is mostly a matter of how well they can defend themselves, both kinetically (anti-missile missiles and guns and anti-torpedoes) and passively (electronic warfare and decoys) from missiles and torpedoes. Once either an ASCM or torpedo hits a warship, it’s essentially out of action, and if a torpedo hits in most instances is going straight down to the bottom. There is no armor that can prevent an ASCM from penetrating to detonate in the interior of the ship, given today’s technology with penetrating, tandem warheads with void sensing. And nothing can prevent a torpedo detonated under the keel from breaking the ship’s back and sending it to the bottom.

      It’s all about sense first/shoot first/defenses & counterfires.

  • tim

    I would like to hear more on the logistics. If we start having highly specialized ammunitions, how do we make sure that if the dung hits the fan and we are in the thick of it, plenty of ammo is available when and where needed? I suspect that highly specialized ammunition is not a good start when planning for the worst case scenario logistically.

  • old guy

    I would love to ask these Hype guys 4 quetions:

    1. Did the large scale model of the DD1000 capsize in the DTNSRDC Turning basin?
    2. Have the external add-ons raised radar cross section by a facto of~5?
    3. Does Wave Tracker obviate reduced radar cross section?
    4. Is the “Rail Gun” capable of aout load?
    5 How does Rail Gun compare with the PROVEN Electro-Thermal-Chemical (ETC) gun, which has already autu-fired?

    • Duane

      1 – did the Zum capsize in real life? No.
      2 – what external add-ons?
      3 – No.
      4 – Railgun is in R&D – its capabilities are in development
      5 – There is no deployed ETC gun to compare railgun to.

  • RICHARD

    THEY NEED TO LOOK FOR A OTHER DEFENSE COMPANIES TO SEE IF THEY CAN GET A LOWER COST AS THIS TECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN AROUND FOR AWHILE AND RESEARCH HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE I WAS A KID DURING VIETNAM TIME FRAME LATE 60’S.

  • rshimizu12

    The HPV artillery will a huge step for our military. They are far cheaper than deploying a rail gun. I am surprised that there has not been much talk of a GPS guided GPS shell. Some have theorized that the HPV shell can be used for taking out missiles. Sound plausible, but I am skeptical that it is practical at longer range. My guess is that the HPV will be more useful for taking out ship and more hardened targets.