sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Destroyers


USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is 100 ft. longer than an Arleigh Burke Class destroyer, but they are still calling Zumwalt a destroyer. The word, "cruiser" has apparently gone out of naval fashion. I'm not sure why, but it has. USS Zumwalt is a stealth ship with a small radar cross section that's about 10% of her size. On radar, it would look like a yacht or a fishing boat.

Despite rumors that the launch of Zumwalt would be delayed until early 2014, the vessel was launched from its shipyard in Bath, Maine on 29 October 2013. The builders have completed extensive testing from what I've been told and the ship will be delivered to the US Navy later this month or in January with initial operating capability reached later next year.

I find it interesting that the Navy only plans to build three of them. It may have to do with the $7 billion (each) price tag.  Anyway, not to worry, we're going back to the old Arleigh Burke Class with a modernized design to allow it to carry more 'potent' weapons including lasers. USS Michael Murphy was originally intended to be the last of the Arleigh Burke class. The new version of the Arleigh Burke destroyers is referred to as the Flight III variant As many as 42 Flight III ships are expected to be procured by the U.S. Navy with the first ship entering service in 2023.

The Problem:

The US Navy's fleet is aging. The US is not producing Naval ships fast enough to replace the ships that are going out of service -- possibly because 1/5 of Americans are receiving food stamps and social spending to buy votes has been the national political posture. 

There are also manning and operational difficulties that have to do with national funding priorities.

I understand. Nobody wants to spend money on a navy...until they need it. Then a new class of ships will roll off the chalks over a decade later.

Class & type:Zumwalt-class destroyer
Displacement:14,564 tons[3]
Length:600 ft (182.9 m)
Beam:80.7 ft (24.6 m)
Draft:27.6 ft (8.4 m)
Installed power:Integrated Power System (IPS)
Propulsion:Rolls-Royce Marine Trent-30 gas turbines plus 2 Rolls-Royce RR4500 gas turbine generator sets,[4][5] 78 MW
Speed:30.3 knots (56.1 km/h; 34.9 mph)
Complement:142
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SPY-3 Multi-Function Radar (MFR) (X-band, scanned array)
Volume Search Radar (VSR) (S-band, scanned array)
Armament:20 × MK 57 VLS modules, with 4 vertical launch cells in each module, 80 cells total. Each cell can hold one or more missiles, depending on the size of the missiles, including:
• RIM-66 Standard
• Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile(ESSM)
• BGM-109 Tomahawk
• RUM-139 Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket
2 × 155 mm Advanced Gun System
920 × 155 mm total; 600 in automated store + Auxiliary store room with up to 320 rounds (non-automatic) as of April 2005
70-100 LRLAP rounds planned as of 2005 of total
2 × Mk 46 30 mm gun (GDLS)
Aircraft carried:SH-60 LAMPS helicopters or 1 MH-60R helicopter
MQ-8 Fire Scout VTUAV

10 comments:

  1. "Si vis pacem, para bellum."

    If you want peace, prepare for war.
    I hope this ship does that.

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    Replies
    1. The problem as I see it is the production slip and the effect that has on capabilities.

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  2. I like the part about 30-knots speed, more speed is always better...

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    1. I have heard that the new hull allows it to keep that speed in much higher sea states than a conventional hull. So it's not just how fast but how fast in what sea state. It's also longer than a conventional destroyer, and as much as it defies logic, that helps it operate better in high sea states too.

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  3. The optics of the Zumwalt are similar to the Civil War era ironclad "Merrimac." I'll bet radar would have bounced off of that old beauty as well. in addition to cannon balls.

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    1. The Monitor was described by those Union soldiers who saw her in Hampton Roads as "A Cheese Box on a Shingle". Not much radar cross section there either.

      Though I always preferred the Ex-Merrimac Union frigate, recut into the CSAS Virginia.

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  4. England used to have a Navy until they got rid of it to pay welfare checks. Smart move, if you're an island.

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    Replies
    1. I could never figure that out. The US supported the UK in the Falklands war and not long after, they let their ship numbers slip...and they've been slipping ever since. What would happen if nobody protected their supply lines? In WW2 they nearly starved. Short memories.

      As you say, there was a need to feed the parasites.

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    2. Read a fascinating little book about the Battle of Jutland last week. Fascinating to me, especially, as I'm clueless about any strategy involving naval maneuvers.
      But I have to agree... seems an island should feel motivated to maintain a fleet...

      And I had no idea that they could design boats that wouldn't show up their size on radar!

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