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Will the DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class be cancelled?

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posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 01:16 PM
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As projected costs per ship approach $3 BILLION , will the USN say enough is enough and cancel the entire programme? This is getting close to the cost of a Nimitz class carrier!




posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 03:10 PM
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My opinion of course but no, the program is too far along and too vital to the replacement of the surface fleet for it be cancelled. Besides the LCS and the Ford class the Zumwalt class is the only other large surface ship slated for production. Its outright cancellation would severely set back any further large procurement attempts aimed at replacing the capability gap left by the decommissioning of the Spruance and Perry class ships. Funding has been allocated for two ships and initial construction has already begun on DDG-1000. The Navy will not waste money already spend on R&D via cancellation nor will it willingly give up the substantial technological and capability boost DDG-1000 will bring to the front lines. Cost's are high due to the nature of the project, this is the first ship of the class largely utilizing new advanced systems, technology and design. The fact that currently only two ships have been funded with incremental buys planned does not help, (see B-2, F-22 etc…) What is more likely to happen in my opinion, is a limited production run, under 10 ships. Then the technology that was developed and fielded on the Zumwalt class will go towards a new project which will lead to mass production of a cheaper yet slightly less capable ship (see Virginia class, F-35).



posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 03:22 PM
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good to see you posting WP



cheaper yet slightly less capable ship (see Virginia class, F-35).


at present projected per unit costs of the F-35 , right now its over $100 million per airframe and they arn`t even making them yet
- it will be right on the money for the raptor - cheaper that most certainly is not!

there is alot of R&D in these boats - but $3 BILLION each is a heck of a lot of money for 1 ship - look at the potential wars of the future (if we live through the next few years) your $3billion doller ship - both of them , sailing against 10 diesel subs or 100 fast attack boats - all it takes it 1 to get through , and as the video of CIWS and the 5" gun against a small boat - then they have no chance.



posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
at present projected per unit costs of the F-35 , right now its over $100 million per airframe and they arn`t even making them yet...


I doubt it, the most recent GAO estimates place the F-35 (all versions) under 60 million per plane. Anyone citing 100 million or over is factoring in R&D or the total program cost. My opinion of course, but the F-35 buy will be substantial, even larger than currently planned, and costs will go down, much like they have for the F-22. Still, I don't wish to detract this thread about a discussion concerning the F-35 Lighting II.


Originally posted by Harlequin
there is alot of R&D in these boats - but $3 BILLION each is a heck of a lot of money for 1 ship - look at the potential wars of the future


Yes that is a lot of money but this is a new advanced ship with a limited initial run. The third production DDG-1000, should it be ordered, would cost, according to the most recent Navy estimate, 2.5 billion. You can see where this is headed if the production run is expanded and procurement is handled properly. Still, the Zumwalt class will provide needed capability and it has its place within the USN and its operations. It's not meant to sail against 10 submarines or 100 fast attack boats by itself. This is an integrated military, all threats will be handled accordingly by the best possible combination of assets available to the US armed forces.



posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 04:47 PM
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I think that it is important to note that these craft will be sailing almost exclusively within a CVBG. They arent meant to operate alone.

If they have started construction they won't cancel it. IMO the USN is using these two craft as a sort of technology demonstrator. Maybe "performence demonstrator" is a better term...but you get my point. The USN believes that these two craft will impress congress into giving them more money.

Not to say at all that I think they are appropriately priced, I don't really think any craft should be over 2.5Bil, and I think that we would have more success with smaller, pocket type nuclear carriers. I can't figure out what could possibly be boosting the price so much. If anyone has a link, please...

Nevertheless we DO need an new hull to carry all of the new systems the US is developing. The current AEGIS cruisers won't last forever, you can only rip something apart and put it back together so many times before it just wears out. We have to have something DESIGNED AROUND things like the SM-3 and SM-6, with dedicated radars and fire control systems, etc.

And why the hell does the US have to make everything stealthy? Apparently the RCS is the size of a fishing boat. I'm really not sure how much thats going to help and I would be amazed if developing the radical hull didn't jack the price up quite a bit.



posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 06:25 PM
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There has been no actual construction work done on this class of ships yet. They are purely working in the theoretical stages and have not even finalized the design yet.

I am all for this class of ship. If we work the program right, there are many aspects of it that we could export (to certain allies) that would help drive down the unit cost to managble levels.



posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 10:35 PM
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I think the current plan is to produce two as an interim class and then move on to a new design.

Congress recently passed a law mandating that all major surface vessels (DD & larger) be nuclear powered. So plans for CG-21, the replacement for the Ticonderoga class, are now for a 25,000 ton (!) nuclear-powered AAW cruiser.

Should be an impressive ship, I always liked the lines of the California and Virginia class CGN's.

I believe the Zumwalts are actually intended to replace the VLS refitted Spruances, which currently double as ASW and land attack ships - they've got a belly just full of Tomahawks.

But with the Ohio SSGN refits coming into service, that may be less of a priority.





[edit on 1/17/08 by xmotex]



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 06:29 PM
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Congressional cost concerns regarding Zumwalt DDG 1000 are based on a CBO analysis that, by their own admission, fails to account for designed in savings.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 06:45 PM
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reply to post by Harlequin
 


As you are well aware, the program has been defunded by the House Armed Services Committee. The House Seapower Subcommittee Chairman, Mr. Taylor (D-MS-04), has publicly stated that is opposition to the program is based on his concern for future cost growth. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the first two ships of class will cost $5.1B each, rather than the $3.15B each predicted by the Department of the Navy (DON).

The CBO analysis is wrong. CBO estimated the Zumwalt first ship cost by scaling up the costs for the preceding Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer. CBO failed, by their own admission, to address the fact that the comparison of vessels is obviated by the designed in Zumwalt improvements that specifically reduce the cost growth drivers experienced by Arleigh Burke. These improvements include: fabrication in sections indoors, fixed price contracts that lock in 43% of the ship cost making, beginning construction with 85% of the detailed design complete rather than 20% of Arleigh Burke, Arleigh Burke is much more densely packed making the price per ton an invalid comparison, and the fact that the computer models used in the 1970’s designed Arleigh Burke were not able to handle the ship necessitating restarting the design.

The last five Chief of Naval Operations from; Admiral Boorda (1994) through Admiral Roughhead (2008) have testified before the Congress to the need for the capabilities of the Zumwalt. The requirements have been validated by the Joint Requirement Oversight Council (JROC), and they have not changed. The Congress has responded by appropriating $11B in RDT&E monies to develop the technologies that will reduce manning and provide the DON with the enabling technologies for the “family of ships” for the entire 21st century fleet.



posted on Jul, 19 2008 @ 05:03 AM
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Just my opinion but even if it did achieve a cost on par with a Nimitz class carrier it would be worth it.

It's savings are in how cheaply it is to operate, and what it can do are things NO carrier can do. It is absolutely VITAL to our navy remaining THE most powerful Navy in teh world especially as China's navy grows.....

People forget that ultimately the NAVY Is the heart of our nations defense, perhaps more so then any other branch.....as long as we control the seas, our country is fairly safe......

The platform this class serves for our new experimental weaponry can NOT be underestimated. These weapons systems will literally change EVERYTHING, and our capabilities of defending ourselves both from ICBM's and submarines.



posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 06:11 AM
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www.foxnews.com...

It seems only two will ever be built. This was the headline article on Fox news last night at around 1:00AM. Such an advancement in ship technology that it is sad to see it being scrapped.



posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 07:34 AM
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the ohio SSGN`s can do most of the role of these ships - at a cheaper cost.



posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 09:22 AM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
the ohio SSGN`s can do most of the role of these ships - at a cheaper cost.


Not entirely true. The SSGN's, while truly an asset to the USN, cannot pound the shore as the Zumwalts are intended to. It's been mentioned in this thread previously, but I want to reiterate that these ships are absolutely Technology Demonstrators.

I equate this ship as the surface Navy's version of Seawolf. In each case, the Navy set out to build the best aggressor possible. In the Seawolf's case, it was built to hunt, track, and destroy Soviet SSBN's and any SSN's that pose a risk to our own fleet or the Seawolf's mission. To that end, the Seawolf was envisioned as the no-holds-barred, pull out all the stops SSN. 8 tubes? Sure. New reactor design? Sure. Larger beam? Sure, just make sure power goes up to account for it, can't have this thing be slow, can we? In the end, the Navy got a heck of a submarine, possibly the finest SSN built to date. However, the cost for those bells and whistles raised eyebrows in Congress as the Soviet Union disintegrated.

In many ways, the DDX program, now the DDG-1000, is the "surface Seawolf." First off, it's big. 14,500 tons is really more of a cruiser than a destroyer. Quiet, efficient, electric propulsion in a vessel this size? That's new to the USN. Capability for railguns to be added when fully developed? New. Composite "stealth" deckhouse? New to the USN. Zonal power distribution? New to the USN in this configuration. Automated zoned fire-fighting systems and piping rupture isolation valves? New to the USN. Advanced Gun System firing the Long-Range Land Attack Projectile 100 nm onto shore at a rate of 10 per minute? New. Peripheral VLS for ship survivability in combat? New to the USN. Dual band RADAR, automated replenishment and tumblehome hull? All new.

This ship was envisioned as the "Ultimate Destroyer" (nevermind that it's the size of a cruiser. However, what Congress sees is that the Navy is spending $3.2 Billion for a DDG-1000 and buying DDG-51 Flight IIA for $1.1 Billion. The Arleigh Burkes are still very capable ships, so why is a Zumwalt 3 times better?

What I predict is that the Zumwalt Class ends at 2-3 ships (the 3rd ship was just defunded) and the technologies developed for this class find their way into DDG-51 Flight III's and CG(N)-X and DDG-????. To go back to the Seawolf analogy, the Virginia was built as a "Seawolf Lite." With the Zumwalt, we see the Seawolf. What we don't see on the horizon right now is the Zumwalt Lite. I do, however, expect it to show up on the horizon any time now.



posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 09:30 AM
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Ultimately NO current ship has the capacity to generate the electricity, and shift it's electrical loads quickly enough to use the new gen weapons technology. So no, there is not a current ship that fufill the roll cheaper..they can not fill the role at all. The weapon systems that this ship is designed for ultimately are not even finished yet, but it would be nice to have a platform for them, by the time they are.

[edit on 25/7/2008 by ForkandSpoon]



posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by ForkandSpoon
Ultimately NO current ship has the capacity to generate the electricity, and shift it's electrical loads quickly enough to use the new gen weapons technology. So no, there is not a current ship that fufill the roll cheaper..[edit on 25/7/2008 by ForkandSpoon]


There are ships out there with the electrical capacity to support those weapons, but they're aircraft carriers. Could the DDG-51 Flight III be redesigned to add generation capacity? Maybe.

The other thing to consider is that the railgun is a pulsed load. You could power it with a relatively low energy supply, it would just have a low rate of fire as the storage devices take longer to charge.



posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 12:52 PM
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What happened to the need for NGFS? Hopefully, this will re-ignite the issue about modernizing a couple of our Battleships that the Zumwalt's were supposed to replace. The Russian invasion of Georgia exactly illustrates why we still need them--it would be too dangerous to put a carrier group in the Black Sea (too easy to target)--but a battleship can take punishment, and stop this invasion in its tracks.

By the way, our Navy is not a friend of the battleships, they see its ability to replace modern ships as a threat to the 313 ship fleet. So don't expect any support from the Pentagon; their more concerned with maintaining command at sea billets.



posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 09:04 PM
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reply to post by Anonymous ATS
 


Actually, the Navy doesn't see battleships as any sort of 'threat' or 'replacement' for modern ships. Bringing the Iowas back into service would cost a LOT of money, even compared to the Zumwalts. The entire communications suite would have to be rebuilt, and there would have to be substantial upgrades to habitability, and that's just the inexpensive stuff. We'd have to build factories and reverse-engineer tooling to build spare parts. We'd also have to build up stocks of 16" ammunition. While we're doing that, we can pull in the surviving battleship crewmen and set them up as instructors to train new crews...very few systems on an Iowa are anything like the rest of the Navy.

Once we've spent a few billion on the three ships (take your pick on which one wouldn't be pulled back...Missouri for historical reasons, or Iowa because of damage to turret II), and a few billion on a supply and support system for them, what do we have? We have 3 ships, which means *at most* two of them deployed at any one time, that can strike targets up to 40,000 yards away (22.7 miles) with 1,900lb projectiles containing 153lbs of explosive. Don't forget to take a few miles (between 2 and 10, depending on conditions) off that range because the ship is going to stand out in deeper water.

Compare the numbers with any precision-guided munition or surface-to-surface missile, and you'll start to see why the Navy isn't in any hurry to bring the battleships back. The march of technology has done to the battleships what it did to the "Line-of-battle" ships that came before them.

Back to what happened to DDX/DD-1000/Zumwalt...too much new crap at one time. In a system as complex as a modern warship, it's pure idiocy to try to simultaneously develop new propulsion systems, power systems, weapons, hull forms, and electronics. Problems feed on themselves, deadlines slip, and costs spiral. The smart money would have been to deploy the 'new' systems on the last few Burkes (the electronics and power distribution systems, for example), shake most of the bugs out of those, then add the AGS (which could have been getting a better shore-side test in the meantime), then add the now-proven electronics and weapons into the new hull...but our current 'transformation-at-all-costs' cult wanted every bell and whistle at once...and the Navy is paying for it in spades. A closing prediction: If you think the Z's were bad, wait until Chapter 2 of this story hits with the F-35/JSF program.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 01:21 AM
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I don't think it'll be canceled. Our ships are aging rapidly and we need a replacement for the Spruance and the Oliver Hazard Perry classes. I'm just bummed that the Zumwalts ain't gonna have railguns.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 09:20 AM
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reply to post by Devastator7
 


From Defense News 22 July 2008:


The once-vaunted Zumwalt-class DDG 1000 advanced destroyer program - projected in the late 1990s to produce 32 new ships and subsequently downscaled to a seven-ship class - will instead turn out only two ships, according to highly-placed sources in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill


I'm in full agreement that the destroyer fleet is getting a bit old, but the Burkes are still very solid platforms. The "DDG 1000" / Zumwalt class wouldn't be a viable 'replacement' for the Burkes (never mind the Perrys), simply due to cost.

As much as I'd like to see railguns deployed, I'm a lot more "bummed" by the general trends that I see in current Navy programs. Rewind just a few years to the Virginia class SSNs. Supposedly, they were going to be almost as good as the Seawolf class, but represent a huge decrease in cost. Depending on how you do the cost-accounting, they came out a lot less capable, and at least as expensive, possibly more so...and a decade later to boot. Then we get the DDG-1000 / Zumwalt. The less said about this, the better it will be for my blood pressure. Currently in the pipeline, we have the JSF...and I'll bet any reasonable amount of cash that, as time goes on, we'll find that the JSF's costs were under-estimated when the thing was pitched to Congress, and that its technical problems were minimized. This will lead to the same scenario we just saw played out with DDG-1000, in my opinion. Then there's the likely king of money sinks...the Navy's CGX program, that's still in the paper stages, and already smothering itself in bad planning. The Navy can't decide whether to build an actual cruiser (multipurpose warship capable of semi-autonomous operations in the classic style), a theater ballistic-missile defense platform, or (the most likely to be selected and least likely to work) a hybrid of the two. Add in the fact that Congress is pushing to make nuclear power a requirement, and things get really "amusing", thanks to the initial costs of nuclear power, and the political problems of basing / porting nuclear powered ships.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 10:07 AM
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Originally posted by Brother Stormhammer

I'm in full agreement that the destroyer fleet is getting a bit old, but the Burkes are still very solid platforms. The "DDG 1000" / Zumwalt class wouldn't be a viable 'replacement' for the Burkes (never mind the Perrys), simply due to cost.


Even if one puts cost aside, let's not forget that the DDG-1000 is truly massive at 14,500 tons. That's cruiser displacement there. Hardly the tool you'd use to replace a FFG.


Originally posted by Brother StormhammerThen there's the likely king of money sinks...the Navy's CGX program, that's still in the paper stages, and already smothering itself in bad planning. The Navy can't decide whether to build an actual cruiser (multipurpose warship capable of semi-autonomous operations in the classic style), a theater ballistic-missile defense platform, or (the most likely to be selected and least likely to work) a hybrid of the two. Add in the fact that Congress is pushing to make nuclear power a requirement, and things get really "amusing", thanks to the initial costs of nuclear power, and the political problems of basing / porting nuclear powered ships.


Congress is past the point of "pushing for" nuclear power, they've made it a mandate that all "Capital Ships" shall be. No ifs and or buts. Hey, REpresentative Taylor even wants to nuke power the latest Burkes with the A1B reactor designed for the USS Gerald R Ford, despite the fact that he's been told it's a physical impossibility due to size constraints.



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