Hypersonic missiles, laser: American destroyers Zumwalt will (finally) reveal their capabilities

The heavy destroyers of the Zumwalt class were, in the early 90s, to represent the future spearhead of the US Navy surface fleet. 32 units of this 14.000-ton, 185-meter vessel were to be ordered. But, as was the case many times with post-Cold War US defense programs, delusional technological ambitions and calamitous management made this class one of the biggest fiscal fiascoes for the US military in the past 30 years. In the end, only 3 ships of the class will be built, while the program will have exceeded $ 22 billion. Worse, a significant part of its weapon system, the 155mm Advanced Gun System guns, have also seen their price soar, in this case with projectiles each costing between $ 80.000 to $ 800.000 depending on its type and its function, whether it is the Long Range Land Attack Projectile or the HyperVelocity Projectile, both developed by BAe.

In fact, the two destroyers of the class already admitted to service, the USS Zumwalt and the USS Michael Monsoor, failed to find their place in the American naval system more than 5 years after the Initial Operational Capacity has been declared. The last unit, the USS Lyndon B. Johnson, is due to enter service soon, without its precise role having been clearly defined so far. This situation is all the more problematic as the USS Navy struggles to keep up with the pace imposed by the renewal and expansion of the Chinese fleet, as the vast majority of its offshore surface fleet has more than 25 years of navigation, and that the programs to replace the Ticonderoga-class cruisers and the first Arleigh Burke-class destroyers have still not been launched, with only the United States Navy succeeding in launching the FFG / X frigate program with some trepidation. American models built on the model of the Italian FREMMs.

The Constellation class frigates will not have sufficient electrical power reserve to use very high energy lasers capable of eliminating an anti-ship missile.

The rest of this article is for subscribers only

Full-access articles are available in the “ Free Items“. Subscribers have access to the full Analyses, OSINT and Synthesis articles. Articles in the Archives (more than 2 years old) are reserved for Premium subscribers.

From €6,50 per month – No time commitment.


Related posts

Meta-Defense

FREE OF CHARGE
See