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helmutkohl

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is it safe to say the LCS and perhaps the Zummwalt destroyers were failures?
Quite objectively. Wonder why is that even a question.
As above. Both in program execution and fundamental doctrine, neither ship is particularly effective at anything and it's hard to see how they ever could have been. Both will likely be retired early; the first four LCS are already being taken out of service. The LCS might have been salvageable as a corvette for low threat duties even with the failure of their various swap out packages (MIM, ASW, etc) but suffered from the ridiculous speed requirement that compromised their hull shapes and range. The Zummies were just one bad idea after another painted onto one ship class for the sake of transformation. About the only technology that might be salvaged from that abortion is the power management system.
thanks for the informative answer
 

Dilandu

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My understanding is that they are not equipped with SM-2, at least currently.
It does not need them, actually. For self-defense role, ESSM are much more capable. She was not designed as area-defense ship.

To put is simply, "Zumwalt" is a battleship, not an escort. She was designed to achieve as much self-defense ability as possible, and in that she excel. Her multi-target radar array allowed her to intercept more incoming targets simultaneously than the whole destroyer squadron of "Burke"'s, and her low radar signature make locking on her - especially if jamming and decoys are deployed - a very hard goal for missile seekers. So essentially, "Zumwalt" is a ship that could dealt & avoid damage the best. In vanguard position of the battlefleet, engaging enemy ships in missile duel, she would fit perfectly - she could sneak close to the enemy, release the powerful salvo, and survive counter-strikes better than any other surface unit.
 

Grey Havoc

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To put is simply, "Zumwalt" is a battleship, not an escort.
That's stretching things quite a bit. At best she is an oversized and underarmed (a lot of the systems she was supposed to have were ultimately never fitted or else completed) light cruiser, with major logistics issues to boot.


Could you show the source?
Battleships & battlecruisers are something of an interest of mine, so I've picked up bits and pieces on Stalingrad/Project 82 over the years, the most recent I think was in an article late last year about ASMs and ship armor, where the missile trials fiasco was mentioned. To be fair Stalingrad had a bit of help warding off the missiles; various encrustations had been left over on her hull and deck from her aborted construction, including the remnants of the cradle in which she had been built. These ended up acting as a kind of additional spaced armor against anti-ship missiles. The resulting disaster very nearly derailed Soviet ASM development and would have too, if it were not for the fact that Premier Khrushchev was one of the chief missile advocates. However, even he had to use up a lot of political capital in the ensuing fallout. The choice of Stalingrad as a target ship had been symbolic in more ways than one; the abject failure to sink her was therefore extremely embarrassing for everyone involved with the 'missiles over conventional forces' faction including Khrushchev. Prior to the trials, it had been planned that the Sverdlov-class cruisers would be the last major fleet units that the Soviet Navy would ever receive, with the striking power of the future fleet being intended to be primarily based around submarines, Ekranoplans, and missile boats & associated support vessels (including the rather ambitious Project 1231). However, the aforementioned political fallout forced some retrenchment on the part of the proponents of 'missiles above all else', with the then recently appointed Admiral Gorshkov making good use of the mess to the Navy's advantage.
 

uk 75

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Isnt the problem for the USN that Zumwalt and LCS were designed in a period where there was no naval threat to the US so planners were desperately trying to make them relevant to the real world problems faced by the US from 1991 to the re-emergence of Russia and the Xi change of Chinese foreign policy in the last decade?
Even now it is unclear (especially after COVID) whether Russia or China can really match the USN with all its faults.
Russia has not built a serious class of major surface ship since the Cold War.
China has no naval experience in the modern era and is mainly focussed on keeping its military happy to support the regime.
 

sferrin

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Isnt the problem for the USN that Zumwalt and LCS were designed in a period where there was no naval threat to the US so planners were desperately trying to make them relevant to the real world problems faced by the US from 1991 to the re-emergence of Russia and the Xi change of Chinese foreign policy in the last decade?
No.
 

uk 75

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You would nt care to enlarge on that?
 

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My understanding is that they are not equipped with SM-2, at least currently.
It does not need them, actually. For self-defense role, ESSM are much more capable. She was not designed as area-defense ship.

To put is simply, "Zumwalt" is a battleship, not an escort. She was designed to achieve as much self-defense ability as possible, and in that she excel. Her multi-target radar array allowed her to intercept more incoming targets simultaneously than the whole destroyer squadron of "Burke"'s, and her low radar signature make locking on her - especially if jamming and decoys are deployed - a very hard goal for missile seekers. So essentially, "Zumwalt" is a ship that could dealt & avoid damage the best. In vanguard position of the battlefleet, engaging enemy ships in missile duel, she would fit perfectly - she could sneak close to the enemy, release the powerful salvo, and survive counter-strikes better than any other surface unit.
A) The Zumwalt is not a batleship, it never, ever was, it "was" a monitor. A gun armed land attack monitor, the entire ship was designed around two 155 guns and their magazine, those things ocupy the space of 72 MK41 strike lenght VLS. Today it has no mission.
B) It was a silly idea
C) If a US Navy surface ship ever has to be on a van of a fleet engaging enemy ships on a "mano a mano" missile duel, something wrong happened, ship sensors are blocked by the earths curvature, a radar on a ship will detect another ship at relatively short ranges, to expand that range the ship depends on things flying way above the sea level or things swiming below water, and if your sensors are on some other platforms, the main offensive weapons will also be on those same platforms, namely aircrafts and submarines.
D) The idea that a ship the size of a German pocket battleship, one that emits enough radar signals to make a full sqn of E-3 Sentry´s envious, can/could somehow "sneak" close to the enemy, it´s... If its a peer enemy, no one in their right mind would put a 4 Billion surface ship near them because its going to get sunk, if it´s not a peer enemy then its stupid to spend 4 Billion US$ on one ship (the US Budget is public).
E) In this day and age where everybody and their dog fields or his about to field long range "IIR / ESM /Home on Jam" PGM´s a level of RCS reduction that mascarades a ship to be roughly "a trawler" (US Navy words, not mine) on a radar screen is pretty much irrelevant


Josh_TN described the program for what it was/his
 
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fredymac

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In the 80's right up to Desert Storm, the AH64 was a failure, the M1 was a failure, the Bradley was a deathtrap, stealth was a hoax, and all the laser guided munitions would never work in a real war. That's what set the stage for the reaction of the public when it all worked. It also explains the press behavior when it all worked.

Now we have the Zumwalt is a failure, LCS is a failure, CVN 78 is a failure, and of course, the F-35 is a disaster (can't fight and can't run away says RAND).

What failed in Zumwalt? Did it tip over in rough seas as they all warned? Did the all electric system short out? Is stealth still a hoax? The mission was cancelled. Just like the Seawolf submarine. So that must have failed as well. The ship has stealth and a huge electrical supply. It is big. So there are the ingredients for energy weapons and a platform to carry a lot of weapons (once they yank those guns or replace them with railguns). The navy will need to step up and make it clear what they plan to do in terms of future mission priorities and therefore the required modifications.

For the LCS, the design mission was: littoral policing (pirates, drug running, etc), anti sub warfare, and anti mine warfare. The ROVs that perform the sub/mine functions have taken a long time to debug but they are now passing their functional tests. The crews love the ships. The fleet command love the fact that the ships cost far less to operate and can do a lot of "show the flag" duties as well as work with smaller navies in policing activities. It would be great to have critics face the crews and explain to them why the ship is no good. 38 LCS ships are being built and of these about 24 of them are already launched.

The FFG they just picked is a destroyer. In size, displacement, and crew it is way bigger than the LCS and the operating cost will be too. The mission is classic fleet combat support.
 

sferrin

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A) The Zumwalt is not a batleship, it never, ever was, it "was" a monitor. A gun armed land attack monitor, the entire ship was designed around two 155 guns and their magazine, those things ocupy the space of 72 MK41 strike lenght VLS. Today it has no mission.
B) It was a silly idea
OMG, how many times does it need to be said before it sinks in. The Zumwalt was ALSO supposed to form the basis for the Ticonderoga class replacement. As the Spruance / Tico used the same hull and machinery, the Zumwalt and CG-X were to use the same hull. Lose the guns, add more VLS and more capable radar (among other things).
 

Sintra

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In the 80's right up to Desert Storm, the AH64 was a failure, the M1 was a failure, the Bradley was a deathtrap, stealth was a hoax, and all the laser guided munitions would never work in a real war. That's what set the stage for the reaction of the public when it all worked. It also explains the press behavior when it all worked.

Now we have the Zumwalt is a failure, LCS is a failure, CVN 78 is a failure, and of course, the F-35 is a disaster (can't fight and can't run away says RAND).

What failed in Zumwalt? Did it tip over in rough seas as they all warned? Did the all electric system short out? Is stealth still a hoax? The mission was cancelled. Just like the Seawolf submarine. So that must have failed as well. The ship has stealth and a huge electrical supply. It is big. So there are the ingredients for energy weapons and a platform to carry a lot of weapons (once they yank those guns or replace them with railguns). The navy will need to step up and make it clear what they plan to do in terms of future mission priorities and therefore the required modifications.

For the LCS, the design mission was: littoral policing (pirates, drug running, etc), anti sub warfare, and anti mine warfare. The ROVs that perform the sub/mine functions have taken a long time to debug but they are now passing their functional tests. The crews love the ships. The fleet command love the fact that the ships cost far less to operate and can do a lot of "show the flag" duties as well as work with smaller navies in policing activities. It would be great to have critics face the crews and explain to them why the ship is no good. 38 LCS ships are being built and of these about 24 of them are already launched.

The FFG they just picked is a destroyer. In size, displacement, and crew it is way bigger than the LCS and the operating cost will be too. The mission is classic fleet combat support.
The LCS missions were anti ship in litoral waters, anti submarine in litoral waters and anti mine warfare. Its a objective failure, its not something disputable, its a failure.
The first four ships are being taken out of service, the anti ship module was deleted, the other "swapable" modules have been definitively bolted to the ships, the two classes have become pier queens, the production run was curtailed. And their own crews dont like the buggers. It´s a fiasco

The Zumwalt, those three (i am going to repeat, three...) wonders built around a pair of 155 mm´s and their magazine ended up without ammunition for the things, without mission and costing the same has a Royal Navy CVF... Failure, oh yeah
 

Sintra

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A) The Zumwalt is not a batleship, it never, ever was, it "was" a monitor. A gun armed land attack monitor, the entire ship was designed around two 155 guns and their magazine, those things ocupy the space of 72 MK41 strike lenght VLS. Today it has no mission.
B) It was a silly idea
OMG, how many times does it need to be said before it sinks in. The Zumwalt was ALSO supposed to form the basis for the Ticonderoga class replacement. As the Spruance / Tico used the same hull and machinery, the Zumwalt and CG-X were to use the same hull. Lose the guns, add more VLS and more capable radar (among other things).
And?
In what particular way the fact that the CG(X), a program that was killed in 2010, was going to be based on the DD(X), makes it less true that this last ship had its hull designed around AGS? And in what way the cancelled CG(X) makes the Zumwalt less of a fiasco?
 

sferrin

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A) The Zumwalt is not a batleship, it never, ever was, it "was" a monitor. A gun armed land attack monitor, the entire ship was designed around two 155 guns and their magazine, those things ocupy the space of 72 MK41 strike lenght VLS. Today it has no mission.
B) It was a silly idea
OMG, how many times does it need to be said before it sinks in. The Zumwalt was ALSO supposed to form the basis for the Ticonderoga class replacement. As the Spruance / Tico used the same hull and machinery, the Zumwalt and CG-X were to use the same hull. Lose the guns, add more VLS and more capable radar (among other things).
And?
In what particular way the fact that the CG(X), a program that was killed in 2010, was going to be based on the DD(X), makes it less true that this last ship had its hull designed around AGS? And in what way the cancelled CG(X) makes the Zumwalt less of a fiasco?
The "fiasco" isn't with the design it's with how the USN has handled the program.
 

TomS

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My understanding is that they are not equipped with SM-2, at least currently.
It does not need them, actually. For self-defense role, ESSM are much more capable. She was not designed as area-defense ship.

To put is simply, "Zumwalt" is a battleship, not an escort. She was designed to achieve as much self-defense ability as possible, and in that she excel. Her multi-target radar array allowed her to intercept more incoming targets simultaneously than the whole destroyer squadron of "Burke"'s, and her low radar signature make locking on her - especially if jamming and decoys are deployed - a very hard goal for missile seekers. So essentially, "Zumwalt" is a ship that could dealt & avoid damage the best. In vanguard position of the battlefleet, engaging enemy ships in missile duel, she would fit perfectly - she could sneak close to the enemy, release the powerful salvo, and survive counter-strikes better than any other surface unit.
A) The Zumwalt is not a batleship, it never, ever was, it "was" a monitor. A gun armed land attack monitor, the entire ship was designed around two 155 guns and their magazine, those things ocupy the space of 72 MK41 strike lenght VLS. Today it has no mission.
B) It was a silly idea
C) If a US Navy surface ship ever has to be on a van of a fleet engaging enemy ships on a "mano a mano" missile duel, something wrong happened, ship sensors are blocked by the earths curvature, a radar on a ship will detect another ship at relatively short ranges, to expand that range the ship depends on things flying way above the sea level or things swiming below water, and if your sensors are on some other platforms, the main offensive weapons will also be on those same platforms, namely aircrafts and submarines.
D) The idea that a ship the size of a German pocket battleship, one that emits enough radar signals to make a full sqn of E-3 Sentry´s envious, can/could somehow "sneak" close to the enemy, it´s... If its a peer enemy, no one in their right mind would put a 4 Billion surface ship near them because its going to get sunk, if it´s not a peer enemy then its stupid to spend 4 Billion US$ on one ship (the US Budget is public).
E) In this day and age where everybody and their dog fields or his about to field long range "IIR / ESM /Home on Jam" PGM´s a level of RCS reduction that mascarades a ship to be roughly "a trawler" (US Navy words, not mine) on a radar screen is pretty much irrelevant


Josh_TN described the program for what it was/his
A lot of this is wrong/misinformed.

In no way was DD-21 intended as a "monitor." Yes, the AGS takes up a lot of volume and has proved to be an absolute failure (mostly because the Navy had no budget to put toward it despite being in the middle of a shooting war, because this particular war didn't need it.) But the ship's were intended to be, and designed as, general purpose/ASW combatants as well as land-attack ships. They were supposed to be direct replacements for the Spruances, which the DDGs just can't quite achieve. To that end, the ships have excellent ASW sensors and basically unprecedented quieting for surface ships ("SSN quiet" to paraphrase the Navy). They're also very effective local air defense ships, far more survivable than the Spruances ever were. The marketing was a mess, and "land attack destroyer" was a huge mistake but the ships are far more than gun platforms.

Signature-wise, people continue to fail to understand the point of surface ship RCS reduction. It is not about disappearing, any more than aircraft signature reduction is about being invisible. It's about reducing detection range and perhaps even more important, increasing countermeasures effectiveness. A ship with a trawler's RCS isn't going to be undetected, but it may not be immediately recognized as a warship on a surface radar plot, especially if it does smart things with AIS and selective emissions control. And even when it is recognized, missiles fired at it are going to have a much harder time sorting it out from decoys or jamming signals when the time comes.
 

fredymac

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The LCS missions were anti ship in litoral waters, anti submarine in litoral waters and anti mine warfare. Its a objective failure, its not something disputable, its a failure.
The first four ships are being taken out of service, the anti ship module was deleted, the other "swapable" modules have been definitively bolted to the ships, the two classes have become pier queens, the production run was curtailed. And their own crews dont like the buggers. It´s a fiasco

The Zumwalt, those three (i am going to repeat, three...) wonders built around a pair of 155 mm´s and their magazine ended up without ammunition for the things, without mission and costing the same has a Royal Navy CVF... Failure, oh yeah

Anti ship in Littoral waters. What ships? Frigates? Destroyers? Or pirates and drug runners? What pirate and drug runner is armed to threaten an LCS? The swarm attacks were something that came up after the ships had been designed. They are now equiped Hellfire missile batteries and will soon have guided 57mm projectiles.

The first four ships were deemed too expensive to upgrade to final build specs. That leaves 34.

The mission module idea was designed for 1 day refit. It took a week. Worse, the crews were trained to match the modules so they did not regard the ship as their responsibility and that factor was the reason to switch back to Blue/Gold crews and fixed modules. You can still swap if necessary.

You say the crews don't like them. I can find videos of the crews saying otherwise. I have yet to find one saying the opposite. However, you may have found one. Please provide the link.

The Zumwalts have a battery of VLS launchers. The mission for the 155mm cannon was canceled. The ships have the size to host a central VLS package or to wait a bit and get a pair of railguns. The technology of the ships, their stealth, and their electrical system have been operating for a couple years now. If you have news that they don't work, please feel free to document.
 

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The Navy really needs to clarify what the final mission fit for the Zumwalts will be. Right now, 80 PVLS cells are available. If they forego railguns, the AGS can be replaced by a MK41 battery at least as big as anything on an Arleigh Burke.

The aft end of the ship has the mission bays for ROVs and helicopters. They should clarify what is going to be used.

Then they need to address the big issue of the SPY3 radar. Either upgrade it so it can handle all the SPY6 functions or swap it out.
 

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These ships have no where near the stealth/countermeasures to survive any significant combat in the 2030s. 90s concept we are still stuck w. .. Large combatants or refurbished Tridents launching volumes from significant distances w/ each munition able to hunt and engage multiple dispersed targets. ie Thirsty Sabre etc. might be the beginning of an idea. It is best to finish the contracts for these albatrosses but dont buy anymore. Find a way to integrate this programmed obsolesence (s) into new fleet.
 

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The "fiasco" isn't with the design it's with how the USN has handled the program.
The naval gunfire mission was a fundamental design flaw. If they had at least built it to simply be a Tico replacement, that at least would have been a ship with a specific and needed role. One could then argue whether the effort put into the low RCS of the ship was truly useful in the context of something that generally would be expected to emit megawatts of energy, but you could at least argue that the E-2 of the CVW would generally be the primary air search sensor. The idea that anyone would take a billion dollar cruiser close to a shore for a naval bombardment was absolutely moronic from day one. If NGFS was needed, they should have bought a destroyer with a 5" and heavy point defenses and called it a day. The entire front third of a 4 billion dollar ship is dead space now. It's a stupid idea now, it was stupid idea then, even if the technology had worked and somehow been cost effective.

ETA: I agree with the above post. The money has been spent; rip out the guns, replace with more Mk 41/57s, and use it to replace several Ticos which are on their last legs.
 
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Josh_TN

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A lot of this is wrong/misinformed.

In no way was DD-21 intended as a "monitor." Yes, the AGS takes up a lot of volume and has proved to be an absolute failure (mostly because the Navy had no budget to put toward it despite being in the middle of a shooting war, because this particular war didn't need it.) But the ship's were intended to be, and designed as, general purpose/ASW combatants as well as land-attack ships. They were supposed to be direct replacements for the Spruances, which the DDGs just can't quite achieve. To that end, the ships have excellent ASW sensors and basically unprecedented quieting for surface ships ("SSN quiet" to paraphrase the Navy). They're also very effective local air defense ships, far more survivable than the Spruances ever were. The marketing was a mess, and "land attack destroyer" was a huge mistake but the ships are far more than gun platforms.

Signature-wise, people continue to fail to understand the point of surface ship RCS reduction. It is not about disappearing, any more than aircraft signature reduction is about being invisible. It's about reducing detection range and perhaps even more important, increasing countermeasures effectiveness. A ship with a trawler's RCS isn't going to be undetected, but it may not be immediately recognized as a warship on a surface radar plot, especially if it does smart things with AIS and selective emissions control. And even when it is recognized, missiles fired at it are going to have a much harder time sorting it out from decoys or jamming signals when the time comes.
I haven't heard of the acoustic signature reduction effort. Do we know what technology went into this effort in open source? Presumably the electric motors were part of it. SSN quiet seems like a lot of hyperbole to me, but those who know won't say, etc.

As for RCS reduction, this definitely makes counter measures more effective against inbound weapons. But in the age of orbital SAR and aircraft ISAR radars, is a warship really hiding what it is? Sure you could jam the radar that is trying to ID you, but then you minimally identify yourself explicitly as a hostile warship. The shape of something like Zummwalt would be impossible to mistake for something else if you could establish even a vague outline of it.
 
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Dilandu

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A) The Zumwalt is not a batleship, it never, ever was, it "was" a monitor. A gun armed land attack monitor, the entire ship was designed around two 155 guns and their magazine, those things ocupy the space of 72 MK41 strike lenght VLS. Today it has no mission.
It was designed, to operate in very high threat coastal environment - essentially where no other ship could safely go. Thing is, that the traits in needed for that, are useful for open sea actions too.

D) The idea that a ship the size of a German pocket battleship, one that emits enough radar signals to make a full sqn of E-3 Sentry´s envious, can/could somehow "sneak" close to the enemy, it´s... If its a peer enemy, no one in their right mind would put a 4 Billion surface ship near them because its going to get sunk, if it´s not a peer enemy then its stupid to spend 4 Billion US$ on one ship (the US Budget is public).
Yes, it could do that. First of all, radar detection is NOT all-powerful. If your radar sweeps are limited to below the horizon, and you rely on external platforms for targeting data, than the enemy would have serious problems to detect you, unless it is within the range already.

Secondly, "Zumwalt" could run fully passive, and fire up her radar only when something in not right - more risky, but perfectly possible, if she is supported by AEW planes.

E) In this day and age where everybody and their dog fields or his about to field long range "IIR / ESM /Home on Jam" PGM´s a level of RCS reduction that mascarades a ship to be roughly "a trawler" (US Navy words, not mine) on a radar screen is pretty much irrelevant
It is not exactly irrelevant when you think from a missile seeker point of view.
 

Dilandu

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Signature-wise, people continue to fail to understand the point of surface ship RCS reduction. It is not about disappearing, any more than aircraft signature reduction is about being invisible. It's about reducing detection range and perhaps even more important, increasing countermeasures effectiveness. A ship with a trawler's RCS isn't going to be undetected, but it may not be immediately recognized as a warship on a surface radar plot, especially if it does smart things with AIS and selective emissions control. And even when it is recognized, missiles fired at it are going to have a much harder time sorting it out from decoys or jamming signals when the time comes.
Exactly!
 

jsport

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If one thinks that multi-spectral (RF+LF) sensor multi-source based targeting+ multi-spectral (RF+LF) sensors heads will not quickly move past contemporary decoy and jamming by the 2030s they are living in the 90s.
 
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bring_it_on

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My understanding is that they are not equipped with SM-2, at least currently.
It does not need them, actually. For self-defense role, ESSM are much more capable. She was not designed as area-defense ship.

To put is simply, "Zumwalt" is a battleship, not an escort. She was designed to achieve as much self-defense ability as possible, and in that she excel. Her multi-target radar array allowed her to intercept more incoming targets simultaneously than the whole destroyer squadron of "Burke"'s, and her low radar signature make locking on her - especially if jamming and decoys are deployed - a very hard goal for missile seekers. So essentially, "Zumwalt" is a ship that could dealt & avoid damage the best. In vanguard position of the battlefleet, engaging enemy ships in missile duel, she would fit perfectly - she could sneak close to the enemy, release the powerful salvo, and survive counter-strikes better than any other surface unit.
A) The Zumwalt is not a batleship, it never, ever was, it "was" a monitor. A gun armed land attack monitor, the entire ship was designed around two 155 guns and their magazine, those things ocupy the space of 72 MK41 strike lenght VLS. Today it has no mission.
B) It was a silly idea
C) If a US Navy surface ship ever has to be on a van of a fleet engaging enemy ships on a "mano a mano" missile duel, something wrong happened, ship sensors are blocked by the earths curvature, a radar on a ship will detect another ship at relatively short ranges, to expand that range the ship depends on things flying way above the sea level or things swiming below water, and if your sensors are on some other platforms, the main offensive weapons will also be on those same platforms, namely aircrafts and submarines.
D) The idea that a ship the size of a German pocket battleship, one that emits enough radar signals to make a full sqn of E-3 Sentry´s envious, can/could somehow "sneak" close to the enemy, it´s... If its a peer enemy, no one in their right mind would put a 4 Billion surface ship near them because its going to get sunk, if it´s not a peer enemy then its stupid to spend 4 Billion US$ on one ship (the US Budget is public).
E) In this day and age where everybody and their dog fields or his about to field long range "IIR / ESM /Home on Jam" PGM´s a level of RCS reduction that mascarades a ship to be roughly "a trawler" (US Navy words, not mine) on a radar screen is pretty much irrelevant


Josh_TN described the program for what it was/his
None of this gets to the point about the Zumwalt class vis-a-vis the future fleet needs. As described by Vice Admiral Ron Boxall, the USN needs a less dense LSC with loads of power generation, and space for VLS and even possibly VPM. It needs power, capacity and room to grow. Those things are likely design drivers. Perhaps RCS is "tradable". Some of those problems have already been solved by the DDG-1000 program. Regardless, the DDG-51 Flight III is likely the last iteration of the Burke. As such, the Zumwalt class can serve as pretty good parent design for such a ship. In fact a Parent Design + GFE approach leveraging the base design makes a lot of sense. There are ways (by changing requirements) to make it more affordable to fit between that $2-2.5 Billion range. Higher quantity will likewise reduce costs. The US Navy wanted a mature parent design approach on the FFG(X) and chose a Frigate that was operational. Similarly, by FY25, which is the earliest a LSC will be put on contract, all 3 Zumwalt class destroyers will be operational as would be most of the GFE that is likely to go into such a design barring a few items. The USN could even move say the DDG-1002 to transition some of those technologies in a "test before you buy" like scenario which is usually not the case with ships. There is an opportunity to do this and this is what some of us here are suggesting. But to do something like this would involve the CNO going to Congress and asking for something like half a billion or more dollars to make changes to one of the ships, while also asking that its deployment be delayed for a couple of years at a minimum.
 
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Moose

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The Navy really needs to clarify what the final mission fit for the Zumwalts will be. Right now, 80 PVLS cells are available. If they forego railguns, the AGS can be replaced by a MK41 battery at least as big as anything on an Arleigh Burke.

The aft end of the ship has the mission bays for ROVs and helicopters. They should clarify what is going to be used.

Then they need to address the big issue of the SPY3 radar. Either upgrade it so it can handle all the SPY6 functions or swap it out.
SPY-3 doesn't need to be swapped out for SPY-6, it was designed to operate alongside an S-Band VSR. Just mount SPY-6 where SPY-4 was to have been before it was deleted. Works out both ways, as AMDR was supposed to have both S- and X-band radars but the latter has been delayed indefinitely. So give SPY-3 a tryout in the roll, and maybe the LSC ends up using SPY-3B alongside SPY-6.
 

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The "fiasco" isn't with the design it's with how the USN has handled the program.
The naval gunfire mission was a fundamental design flaw.
1. Not part of CG-X. 2. All Ticos and Spruances have/had two guns. Are they also "fundamentally flawed"?
The NGFS mission as defined and executed in Zummwalt was fundamentally flawed. If they wanted to just stick a pair of 5" mounts on it, that would have been at far lower cost in terms of space, weight, and most especially money. More over they would have actually worked. I still would have questioned the need for two guns; in fact I question the need and viability of NGFS at all in this day an age. But a pair of 5" would have been a perfectly doable and reasonable requirement at the time.
 

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The Navy really needs to clarify what the final mission fit for the Zumwalts will be. Right now, 80 PVLS cells are available. If they forego railguns, the AGS can be replaced by a MK41 battery at least as big as anything on an Arleigh Burke.

The aft end of the ship has the mission bays for ROVs and helicopters. They should clarify what is going to be used.

Then they need to address the big issue of the SPY3 radar. Either upgrade it so it can handle all the SPY6 functions or swap it out.
SPY-3 doesn't need to be swapped out for SPY-6, it was designed to operate alongside an S-Band VSR. Just mount SPY-6 where SPY-4 was to have been before it was deleted. Works out both ways, as AMDR was supposed to have both S- and X-band radars but the latter has been delayed indefinitely. So give SPY-3 a tryout in the roll, and maybe the LSC ends up using SPY-3B alongside SPY-6.
Why would two different X band radars be employed together? SPY-3 is probably good enough; it is a brand new radar installation. My understanding is that it, or the software, is supposed to be upgraded to allow for volume air search. Until the first Burke III hits the water I would have assumed the Zummies were some of the better radar platforms in the fleet as is.
 

fredymac

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The Navy really needs to clarify what the final mission fit for the Zumwalts will be. Right now, 80 PVLS cells are available. If they forego railguns, the AGS can be replaced by a MK41 battery at least as big as anything on an Arleigh Burke.

The aft end of the ship has the mission bays for ROVs and helicopters. They should clarify what is going to be used.

Then they need to address the big issue of the SPY3 radar. Either upgrade it so it can handle all the SPY6 functions or swap it out.
SPY-3 doesn't need to be swapped out for SPY-6, it was designed to operate alongside an S-Band VSR. Just mount SPY-6 where SPY-4 was to have been before it was deleted. Works out both ways, as AMDR was supposed to have both S- and X-band radars but the latter has been delayed indefinitely. So give SPY-3 a tryout in the roll, and maybe the LSC ends up using SPY-3B alongside SPY-6.

I was being unclear. I meant integrate the full BMDS/air/ground attack functionality into the ships AEGIS system.
 

sferrin

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The "fiasco" isn't with the design it's with how the USN has handled the program.
The naval gunfire mission was a fundamental design flaw.
1. Not part of CG-X. 2. All Ticos and Spruances have/had two guns. Are they also "fundamentally flawed"?
The NGFS mission as defined and executed in Zummwalt was fundamentally flawed. If they wanted to just stick a pair of 5" mounts on it, that would have been at far lower cost in terms of space, weight, and most especially money. More over they would have actually worked. I still would have questioned the need for two guns; in fact I question the need and viability of NGFS at all in this day an age. But a pair of 5" would have been a perfectly doable and reasonable requirement at the time.
It's easy to Monday-morning quarterback and say "fundamentally flawed" 20 years after the requirement was devised. At the time it's what was needed. I would agree that tying a new gun system to a specific class of ship is a bad idea. IIRC the original idea was to be able to drop the gun system in place of a 64-cell VLS. Either / or, where, conceivably, you could swap one out for the other.
 

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The worst aspect of DD-21 (AGS)comes pretty directly from Congressional intervention. The initial Navy plan was to field the Vertical Gun for Advanced Ships, which was basically a launcher for rocket-boosted gliding shells. But Congress demanded a trainable gun instead, without relaxing the range or other requirements. So AGS was born.

VGAS would have fit two tubes and a sizable magazine inside the footprint of a single 64-cell VLS. A DD-21 with VGAS would probably have also had a single Mk45 for general purpose anti-surface work. But once you had trainable AGS, the assumption was that it would do both land attack and GP/ASuW (indeed, that's why Congress insisted on a trainable AGS). Of course, the gliding rounds were not compatible with NATO standard 155mm, so neither was the required ballistic GP/ASuW round. That added another cost to AGS development on top of the mount itself, which was already much more expensive than VGAS (more moving bits, need to hide the gun barrel, etc.). And that's when the trainwreck happened.
 

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If the USN had stayed w/ VGAS we'd be gliding from near space by now and have Sea and Land Atk dominance. SCRAM shells RAMjet rounds, ETC, etc. and Frigates, Destroyers and Cruisers would not be y obsolete as a smaller ship can carry enough as opposed to VLS cells which can not be reloaded quickly easily by the proposed unmanned corvette, mobile missile magazine.
 
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Dilandu

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The worst aspect of DD-21 (AGS)comes pretty directly from Congressional intervention. The initial Navy plan was to field the Vertical Gun for Advanced Ships, which was basically a launcher for rocket-boosted gliding shells. But Congress demanded a trainable gun instead, without relaxing the range or other requirements. So AGS was born.
Just to think that all those troubles with naval gunfire support could be avoided, if Navy just commissioned the Mk-71 8-inch gun in 1970s...
 

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...or just dropped the requirement all together. As best I recall, gunfire was used in Lebanon and against some abandoned Iranian oil platforms. Is this really something we should have been worried about outside maintain 5" capability? Was the USN going to be defeated by a lack of gunfire? Was a USMC landing going to fail because the shells were only 5 inches and not eight? Was a landing ever directly supported by gunfire since korea?
 

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A dedicated monitor design would have been much cheaper and better since it could have been attached directly to the marine unit.
 

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The Navy really needs to clarify what the final mission fit for the Zumwalts will be. Right now, 80 PVLS cells are available. If they forego railguns, the AGS can be replaced by a MK41 battery at least as big as anything on an Arleigh Burke.

The aft end of the ship has the mission bays for ROVs and helicopters. They should clarify what is going to be used.

Then they need to address the big issue of the SPY3 radar. Either upgrade it so it can handle all the SPY6 functions or swap it out.
SPY-3 doesn't need to be swapped out for SPY-6, it was designed to operate alongside an S-Band VSR. Just mount SPY-6 where SPY-4 was to have been before it was deleted. Works out both ways, as AMDR was supposed to have both S- and X-band radars but the latter has been delayed indefinitely. So give SPY-3 a tryout in the roll, and maybe the LSC ends up using SPY-3B alongside SPY-6.
Why would two different X band radars be employed together? SPY-3 is probably good enough; it is a brand new radar installation. My understanding is that it, or the software, is supposed to be upgraded to allow for volume air search. Until the first Burke III hits the water I would have assumed the Zummies were some of the better radar platforms in the fleet as is.
AN/SPY-6 is an S-band radar, AMDRas originally envisioned had a second radar, AMDR-X, which doesn't exist yet. The Flight III DDGs and Enterprise will use SPQ-9B as an interim X-band radar while the Navy figures out how to make AMDR-X happen. I'm saying: put the X-band SPY-3 together with SPY-6 on a Z (or on all 3 of them) and see how well it goes.
 

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Just to think that all those troubles with naval gunfire support could be avoided, if Navy just commissioned the Mk-71 8-inch gun in 1970s...
Mk71 would have come nowhere close to achieving the range spec for AGS/VGAS, which was driven by the need to counterbattery 155mm guns from 25nm offshore. And that was driven to a significant degree by survivability -- you need 25 nm off a defended coastline to have the time/space for defensive systems to engage coastal defense cruise missiles. It's the same calculation that drove the speed of AAAV -- 25 miles standoff and no more than an hour for troops afloat in an amtrack for troops to be combat effective when they debus. There was a complex geometry driven almost entirely by Marine concepts for amphibious raiding and deep strike operations. And that was in turn driven by the realization that Tarawa 2.0 wasn't a viable CONOPS in the 21st century.
 

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All of those specifications drove a lot of money into stupid unachievable projects just so the Marines could attempt an opposed landing that no politician would ever sanction. Because no amphibious landing in this day and age would be of an existential nature to the US, so no one would kill ten thousand marines over it. That also extrends to the cold war, but it is far more true now. This is why we have failed programs like the AAAV, troubled programs that cost far too much like MV-22, and aircraft that are compromised by USMC requirements like the F-35: the idiotic idea that an opposed landing against a peer competitor is militarily achievable and politically something that the US government would have the spine to commit to. The USMC has been the single biggest waste of US DoD spending since the end of the cold war by far, which is ironic considering the fact it used to be a tough as nails organization that made due with less.
 

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All of those specifications drove a lot of money into stupid unachievable projects just so the Marines could attempt an opposed landing that no politician would ever sanction. Because no amphibious landing in this day and age would be of an existential nature to the US, so no one would kill ten thousand marines over it. That also extrends to the cold war, but it is far more true now. This is why we have failed programs like the AAAV, troubled programs that cost far too much like MV-22, and aircraft that are compromised by USMC requirements like the F-35: the idiotic idea that an opposed landing against a peer competitor is militarily achievable and politically something that the US government would have the spine to commit to. The USMC has been the single biggest waste of US DoD spending since the end of the cold war by far, which is ironic considering the fact it used to be a tough as nails organization that made due with less.
The whole point of Operational Maneuver from the Sea and Ship-to-Objective Maneuver was to avoid a conventional assault that would kill thousands of Marines. M

And you know what? It worked. The initial Marine entry into Afghanistan was almost directly out of the OMFTS playbook, just so deep that naval surface fires weren't a player.
 

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I still think all navies have the problem that no major fleet action has taken place since World War 2. The RN lives in the shadows of The Falklands, the Fall of Singapore and Jutland. Its main enemy from 1947 to 1990 never put it to the test. We only have Tom Clancy or General Hackett to go by if we want to know how Invincible and co would have got on against the Red Banner Northern Fleet.
The US Navy's combat experience against other navies at sea is limited to some exchanges in the Persian Gulf with Iraq and Iran and the Turner Joy Maddox firefight with N Vietnam. Air power has been used widely of course from Korea to Afghanistan but surface ship actions?
 

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All of those specifications drove a lot of money into stupid unachievable projects just so the Marines could attempt an opposed landing that no politician would ever sanction. Because no amphibious landing in this day and age would be of an existential nature to the US, so no one would kill ten thousand marines over it. That also extrends to the cold war, but it is far more true now. This is why we have failed programs like the AAAV, troubled programs that cost far too much like MV-22, and aircraft that are compromised by USMC requirements like the F-35: the idiotic idea that an opposed landing against a peer competitor is militarily achievable and politically something that the US government would have the spine to commit to. The USMC has been the single biggest waste of US DoD spending since the end of the cold war by far, which is ironic considering the fact it used to be a tough as nails organization that made due with less.
So eloquently conveyed like a genuine defeatest..Hope the Chinese language skills are polished as they will be needed given this disposition.

MV-22, the lack of capability in the MH-53K, F-35, AAAV, AGS and the number VLS cells in the DDG, CG21, FFG(X) all failures.
the reason for a new strategy for a new era...
 
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apparition13

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The worst aspect of DD-21 (AGS)comes pretty directly from Congressional intervention. The initial Navy plan was to field the Vertical Gun for Advanced Ships, which was basically a launcher for rocket-boosted gliding shells. But Congress demanded a trainable gun instead, without relaxing the range or other requirements. So AGS was born.
It also could have been installed on the Spruances, retired Ticos, Kidds, even Burkes.

And I think it's a much better way of doing EM guns as well.


Just to think that all those troubles with naval gunfire support could be avoided, if Navy just commissioned the Mk-71 8-inch gun in 1970s...
Also a good option, given that 5" Vulcano ammo is now out to 100km plus. An 8" Vulcano equivalent might be able to reach out to close to the 100nm requirement.

I'd prefer VGAS because of the much larger magazine, but Mk-71s could also have been deployed on Spruance/Tico/Kidd.
 
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