The Navy is attempting to explain away the Zumwalt fiasco but is only looking more culpable while doing so.
As you know by now, the Zumwalt’s Advanced Gun System (AGS) was designed in such a way that it could only use one, unique munition – the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP). The idiocy of that decision has become manifestly clear now that the cost of the LRLAP has risen to nearly a million dollars per projectile and the munition development project has been cancelled. The Zumwalt is now left without a munition for its main weapon, the AGS.
“Even at the high cost, we still weren’t really getting what we had asked for,” he said. “So what we’ve elected to do is to separate the gun effort from the ship effort because we really got to the point where now we’re holding up the ship.”
“Holding up the ship”???? The ship IS the AGS. The entire ship was designed around the AGS. The ship’s reason for existence is to carry the AGS. The ship IS the AGS.
You’re not holding up the ship – without the AGS, there is no ship. The ship has no purpose or use.
You never, never, never, never design and build a ship around non-existent technology. It’s failed every time it’s been tried and the Zumwalt was no exception.
Whoever approved the design concept for the Zumwalt program needs to be court-martialed for dereliction of duty and utter stupidity. If stupefying stupidity is not a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, it should be!
Did you also catch the part about not getting what was asked for?
“…the system was also failing to achieve the range it wanted …”
So, not only was the cost on an exploding, runaway trajectory (unlike the munition itself!) but the performance was inadequate. The system couldn't achieve the claimed range. What have I said, repeatedly? - No system ever achieves its claimed performance. Despite the 100% certainty of the truth of this statement, people will still wholeheartedly believe the claims for the next great weapon or system.
Take any performance/cost claim and double the cost and halve the performance and you’ll be somewhere in the ballpark of reality.
There’s no explaining this one away, Navy. You screwed the pooch in a big way.
(1)Defense News website, “US Navy takes ownership of its second stealth destroyer”, David B. Larter,