Navy Next-War-Itis

SOURCE: Koohan Paik (
SUBHEAD: A world in which stealth battleships attack from near shore under the cover of daylight.  

By David Sharp on 12 April 2012 in the Star Advertiser -  

Image above: Rendering of two-thirds of all Zumwalt class destroyers in a near shore battle. From article below.

[IB Editor's note: before publishing this article we poked around a little and found a quite contrary view of the glowing PR in the Star Advertiser piece extolling the forward looking technology of the Zumwalt Class Destroyer to be stationed in the Pacific. That does not necessarily mean in Hawaii. If it is to support littoral combat in Indochina they will likely be closer to their target - namely the navel base we are building in Jeju, South Korea or our expansion in Guam. If the Zumwalt represents the future it is a future that will surely and quickly be abandoned. Way too expensive and high-tech for its own good - just more boondoggle for General Dynamics Corp. See articles that follow.]

An enormous, expensive and technology-laden warship that some Navy leaders once tried to kill because of its cost is now viewed as an important part of the Obama administration's Asia-Pacific strategy, with advanced capabilities that the Navy's top officer says represent the Navy's future.

The stealthy, guided-missile Zumwalt that's taking shape at Bath Iron Works is the biggest destroyer ever built for the U.S. Navy.

The low-to-the-water warship will feature a wave-piercing hull, composite deckhouse, electric drive propulsion, advanced sonar, missiles, and powerful guns that fire rocket-propelled warheads as far as 100 miles. It's also longer and heavier than existing destroyers — but will have half the crew because of automated systems.

"With its stealth, incredibly capable sonar system, strike capability and lower manning requirements — this is our future," concluded Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, who gave the warship his endorsement on a visit last week to Bath Iron Works, where the ships are being built.

It wasn't always this way.

The General Accounting Office expressed concerns that the Navy was trying to incorporate too much new technology. Some Navy officials pointed out that it's less capable than existing destroyers when it comes to missile defense, and a defense analyst warned that it would be vulnerable while operating close to shore for fire support.

Even its "tumblehome" hull was criticized as potentially unstable in certain situations.

The 600-foot-long ships are so big that the General Dynamics-owned shipyard spent $40 million to construct a 106-foot-tall building to assemble the giant hull segments.

And then there's the cost, roughly $3.8 billion apiece, according to the Navy's latest proposed budget.

Including research and development, the cost grows to $7 billion apiece, said Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information in Washington.

Because of cost, the originally envisioned 32 ships dipped to 24 and then seven. Eventually, program was truncated to just three. The first, the Zumwalt, will be christened next year and delivered to the Navy in 2014.

But Greenert told reporters that the ship fits perfectly into the new emphasis on bolstering the U.S. military presence in the Pacific in response to Asia's growing economic importance and China's rise as a military power.

Greenert didn't go into detail on how the new ship could be used. But the Defense Department has expressed concerns that China is modernizing its Navy with a near-term goal of stopping or delaying U.S. intervention in a conflict involving Taiwan. China considers the self-governing island a renegade province.

Defense officials also see a potential flashpoint in the South China Sea, where China's territorial claims overlap with those of other countries including Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.

The Zumwalt's new technology will allow the warship to deter and defeat aggression and to maintain operations in areas where an enemy seeks to deny access, both on the open ocean and in operations closer to shore, the Navy says.

Jay Korman, industry analyst with The Avascent Group, said the warship uses so much new technology that it's viewed by the Navy as a "silver bullet" answer to threats. The only problem is the cost.

"They were looking to introduce so many new technologies at once, and the cost ballooned," he said. "I don't think people have changed their minds that it's a capable ship. It's just too expensive."

Unlike another new ship entering the Navy's arsenal — the small and speedy "littoral combat ship" — the Zumwalt will be heavily armored and armed.

The Zumwalt's 155 mm deck guns (sporting depleted uranium rounds) were built to pound the shore with guided projectiles to pave the way for the Marines to arrive in landing craft, and they're far more cost-effective in certain situations than cruise missiles, said Eric Wertheim, author of the "Naval Institute's Guide to Combat Fleets of the World."

The smaller crew also represents a substantial cost savings, he added.

Down the road, the ship could one day be equipped with an electromagnetic railgun, a powerful weapon that uses a magnetic field and electric current to fire a projectile at several times the speed of sound.

Production will stop after three ships, and the Navy will go back to building tried-and-true Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, 510-foot-long ships featuring a versatile Aegis radar system that's being modified for ballistic missile defense. Even with modifications, the ships will cost far less than the Zumwalt-class ships.

For Bath's 5,400 workers, the Zumwalt has been both exciting and challenging, with a new design and new construction techniques. In the coming months, workers will take delivery of the composite deck house and helicopter hangar, which are being built at the Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi. Those will be placed on the Bath-built hull.

"If anybody can do it and do it successfully, then I'm confident that's us," said Jay Wadleigh, vice president of Local S6 of the Machinists Union in Bath.

Dead Aim or Dead End?  

By Staff on 9 April 2012 for Defense Industry Daily -  

The prime missions of the new DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class destroyer are to provide naval gunfire support, and next-generation air defense, in near-shore areas where other large ships hesitate to tread. There has even been talk of using it as an anchor for action groups of stealthy Littoral Combat Ships and submarines, owing to its design for very low radar, infrared, and acoustic signatures. The estimated 14,500t (battlecruiser size) Zumwalt Class will be fully multi-role, however, with undersea warfare, anti-ship, and long-range attack roles.

That makes the DDG-1000 suitable for another role – as a “hidden ace card,” using its overall stealth to create uncertainty for enemy forces. At over $3 billion per ship for construction alone, however, the program faced significant obstacles if it wanted to avoid fulfilling former Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter’s fears for the fleet.

From the outset, DID has noted that the Zumwalt Class might face the same fate as the ultra-sophisticated, ultra-expensive SSN-21 Seawolf Class submarines. That appears to have come true, with news of the program’s truncation to just 3 ships. Meanwhile, production continues. DID’s FOCUS Article for the DDG-1000 program covers the new ships’ capabilities and technologies, key controversies, associated contracts and costs, and related background resources:
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Navy sinks Zumwalt class... Kinda  

By Stephen Harper on 10 October 2012 for Jesus can Suck my Cock -  

In three words: "Build more Burkes" is how the American navy is going to save time and money. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are going into full production yet again with a new flight of improved vessels instead of the American Navy going the costly, flashy, high tech route with the hyped up Zumwalt Class (pictured) destroyer. Calling the Zuwalt class a "Destroyer" is also a pretty loose use of the classification system of warships as well. Concider this: the Zuwalt class is 40% larger than an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer which it was designed to replace.

And the Burke class is double the dimensions of a WWII era destroyer. The military needs to come up with a new classification for this ship, like "Heavy Destroyer" or "Enhanced Destroyer" or "Modern Destroyer"... or even "Enhanced Modern Heavy Destroyer".

We'll call it EMHD for short. Seriously though, the Zuwalt Class weighs in at 14,564 tons. The Burke class at 8,315 - 10,000 tons (for the new ones). The Fletcher class (a destroyer used everywhere in WWII) weighed 2,500 tons - fully loaded. A Iowa class battleship used in WWII tipped the scales at 52,000 tons on average.

With all this considered, a single Zuwalt class is closer today in terms of weight and firepower to a fucking WWII era battleship then a destroyer! While the $4 billion ships have been hailed as the most technologically-advanced, ever, there are valid questions about their financing and their current real world utility.

 This seems to make for a sound logical decision as well. What would you want with 10 billion of you're tax dollars: 2 Zumwalt Class destroyers without a clear cut mission, or 5 time tested and proved Arleigh Burke class destroyers? Well, the answer is clear. What was once a proposed 32-ship fleet of Zuwalts was reduced to a mere handful, seven.

Now the USS Zumwalt, USS Michael Monsoor, and one un-named but planned ship are the only vessels to be launched. The stability of the Zuwalt's hull design in heavy seas has been a matter of controversy due to it's new Tumblehome styled hull. Also the inshore naval bombardment of the Advanced Gun System fitted on the Zuwalt is of a concern also.

But to play Devil's advocate for a second, the Zuwalt's are bad-ass looking, futuristic death machines. Consider that the Zuwalt's radar signature are comparable to a fishing boat, and sound levels are compared to a (top of the line) Los Angeles-class submarine.

It also will feature a brand new radar system which is rumored to be the envy of navy's everywhere. It also has a brand new Advanced Gun System which fires 155mm rounds, when firing a missile isn't warranted.

Also automation will reduce crew size on these ships down to 140 personal - verses 275 (on average) on the Burke destroyers. But the Zuwalt has its supporters. The senators from Maine and Mississippi, where the ships are being built are all for the project getting the green light. And so is Pentagon acquisition chief John Young, who is a former Navy man.


1 comment :

Dharma Sanctuary said...

Such ships will never be finished. The old world order is nearly bankrupt. All this type of news is just pure fantasy. Time to move on and just laugh at the bullshit of their corrupt visioning. We don't need to take this seriously anymore..

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