What taxpayers get for $4.5 billion

Why the Zumwalt-Class Destroyers failed to meet the Navy’s expectations…


OK. They are bigger than they look. 610 feet long.

In January 2019, the Navy (commissioned) its second hi-tech Zumwalt-class stealth destroyer, the USS Michael Monsoor. The third and last, USS Lyndon B. Johnson was launched…December 2018 and will be commissioned in 2022…

…The Zumwalt’s Advanced Gun System didn’t…work that well, with two-thirds the forecast range (around 70 miles). Furthermore, its rocket-boosted LRLAP GPS-guided shells cost $800,000 dollars each—nearly as expensive as more precise, longer-range and harder-hitting cruise missiles. The Navy finally canceled the insanely expensive munitions, leaving the Zumwalt with two huge guns it can’t fire…

What were merely three DDG-1000s good for, despite their nifty stealth features and propulsion? The advanced destroyers lacked ammunition for their guns, anti-ship missiles, anti-submarine torpedoes, and long-range area-air defense missiles. Furthermore, the Zumwalt had fewer cells to pack land-attack missiles than Arleigh-Burke destroyers (96), Ticonderoga-class cruisers (122), or Ohio-class cruise-missile submarines (144)—all of which were cheaper, and the last of which is stealthier.

But, hey, the three only cost US taxpayers $13.5 billion. Chump change for a failed experiment…the way our military is run.

3 thoughts on “What taxpayers get for $4.5 billion

    • p/s says:

      The chief of the US Navy defended the service’s plans to scrap nine relatively new warships in the coming fiscal year even as the service tries to keep up with China’s growing fleet. Three of the littoral combat ships slated for decommissioning are less than three years old.
      Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday told the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday that the anti-submarine ships could not perform their primary mission. https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/12/politics/us-navy-scrap-warships/index.html
      The decommissioning of the ships would save the Navy approximately $391 million, according to the service’s proposed FY23 budget.
      But that recoups only a fraction of the cost of the nine littoral combat ships, which totaled about $3.2 billion.

      …about $3,200,000,000.

  1. Robert says:

    Nausiating…. The prepulsion systems are fantastic, but couldn’t we practice that on drone cruisers with no armaments for Navy Air assault tactical training?

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