Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) participates in U.S. Pacific Fleet's Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem (UxS IBP) 21, April 21

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The US Navy plans to put a dozen hypersonic missiles on each of its three Zumwalt-class destroyers, according to the latest budget documents.

The Department of the Navy included in its fiscal year 2022 budget proposal a request for funding to put the Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) Weapon onto all three Zumwalt-class destroyers.

Doing so, the document says, will enable “a flexible, surface combatant-launched, long-range strike capability that leverages stealthy design to achieve precision strikes with low susceptibility to counter targeting.”

To outfit the ships with CPS missiles, the Navy plans to modify the vessels and install a cold launch system “with the capacity to carry up to 12 all-up rounds per ship.”

This piece of the Navy’s $211.7 billion budget request, which was first reported by Defense Daily, offers a clearer picture of how the service’s stealthy Zumwalt-class destroyers might fight in a potential future conflict.

The Navy originally envisioned using the stealth Zumwalt-class destroyers to fight from the littorals and support ground troops with fire from the two 155 mm guns of the Advanced Gun System.

The powerful gun system, the largest built for and fitted on a warship since World War II, could put 10 rounds a minute on targets up to 83 nautical miles away.

The Navy’s plans for the destroyers were upended in 2016 — just a couple of weeks after the-first-in-class USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) was commissioned — when reductions in the size of the class from nearly three dozen to just three resulted in a sharp increase in the cost of the ammunition for the main guns.

A single Long Range Land Attack Projectile was going to cost almost $1 million. Unable to afford the ammunition, the Navy was forced to shutdown procurement and rethink the armaments for the Zumwalt-class destroyers.

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The Navy opted to change the destroyers’ mission from land attack to surface warfare, aiming to transform them into stealthy ship-killers, but there were still questions about how to arm them.

The deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems said in 2018 that the Navy had “determined that the best future for that ship is to get it out there with the capability that it has and separate out the Advanced Gun System, leaving everything else in place.”

He added that the Zumwalt, the Navy’s most technologically advanced ship, would “be a candidate for any advanced weapon system that we develop.”

There was talk of equipping the Zumwalt with the railgun the Navy spent years developing, but that weapon never really materialized. The Navy’s newest budget request suggests that the service is no longer funding the development of the rail gun, which was expected to fire hypervelocity projectiles that would strike like a meteor.

Although the Navy has struggled to work through the advanced weaponry problems, it has made progress on other armaments. USS Zumwalt was delivered to the Navy with a working combat system early last year.

The Zumwalt test-fired the 30 mm mark 46 MOD 2 Gun Weapon System, a remotely operated, …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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