The most expensive destroyer ever built
Boys love their toys. But how long will it stay afloat in
an age of modern missile weapons?
The USS Zumwalt, a massive 610-foot modern-day destroyer with an advanced rocket system, launched into the water off a Maine dock on Monday, in a surprisingly quiet ceremony, given the vessel’s record-breaking size and unusual shape.
It’s the largest destroyer ever built for the U.S. Navy.
“It’s absolutely massive,” said Amy Lent, the executive director of the Maine Maritime Museum, in The Daily Mail. “It’s higher than the tree line on the other side. It’s an absolutely huge ship — very imposing. It’s massively dominating the waterfront,” reports the Washington Times.
|Are we overspending for combat vehicles?|
The US is spending upwards of $140,000 each on ultra-expensive Humvees that can rapidly be
turned into scrap metal by cheap roadside IEDs. While in the Libyan War, rebels won with
converted, low-tech Toyota trucks backed by modern air power.
See our article: It is time to re-organize our military.
The ship has a 155 mm “Advanced Gun System,” with rocket-propelled warheads that can shoot 100 miles. And due to its high-technology component, it only requires half the normal amount of sailors to operate.
Originally designed simply for shore bombardment, the ship is now intended to serve multiple purposes, including backing up Marines on clandestine missions.To go along with its forward-looking nature, many of the Zumwalt’s operations are automated. There are so many computers running the ship that it will only require about 158 crew members to be on board. A typical Navy destroyer requires almost double that number.
In fact, the Navy’s plan to pack in so much sophisticated technology carried such a high price tag that some senior Navy officials tried to kill off the project. Instead, the program’s goal was narrowed: Rather than build 20 ships, the Navy would approve the construction of only three reports RT News.
Currently, the Zumwalt is on track to cost more than $3.5 billion. That’s a hefty sum, but, much to the relief of Navy officials, the ship’s construction is on time and on budget. Previous Navy programs, like the new fleet of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), haven’t been nearly as lucky.
Although significantly smaller than destroyers, the LCS have been swamped with complications ranging from technical issues to cost overruns. Last year, the Navy said it had brought the cost for each LCS down to under $400 million, but the first two each carried a $700 million price tag.
To make matters worse, one suffered a major leak-causing crack in its hull, while the other’s on-board technology failed to distinguish underwater mines from light hitting the waves. The LCS’ computer networks also proved to be susceptible to hackers, and a Defense Department study found that the ships are “not expected to be survivable” in combat.
Navy's Next Generation Destroyer 'USS Zumwalt'
|How long would any ship from any navy in the world last in |
an age of modern missile technology?
|The bigger they are, the deeper they sink.|
The thousands of years of naval history have proven only one thing - all ships sink.
While heading for the relative safety of occupied France, Bismarck was attacked by obsolete biplane Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal; one scored a hit that rendered the battleship's steering gear inoperable. Bismarck was neutralized by a sustained bombardment from a British fleet, was scuttled by her crew, and sank with heavy loss of life.
See more at German battleship Bismarck
|The Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber biplane disabled the Bismarck.|
Simple technology disabling new, powerful and "modern" technology.
|The USS Cole Bombing |
This was a Muslim suicide attack against the United States Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole in October, 2000, while it was harbored and being refueled in the Yemen port of Aden. 17 American sailors were killed, and 39 were injured.
In World War II Japanese Kamikaze "low tech" suicide attacks damaged over 300 Allied ships and sunk 57 ships including three aircraft carriers and fourteen destroyers.
So the question of the day - Is the USS Zumwalt just an expensive floating target?