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Surface Forces: The $6 Billion Destroyer Fades Away
   Next Article → ATTRITION: American Air Space Undefended
February 9, 2009: A year ago, the U.S. Navy ordered the first two DDG 1000 destroyers. This is the "Zumwalt" class, and each of the first two was to cost $3.3 billion. At that point, the navy was only planning to buy seven Zumwalts. Since then, the buy has been reduced to three ships, and the cost (partly because R&D had to be spread over fewer ships) escalated to $6 billion a ship. That's about what a 100,000 ton Nimitz class aircraft carrier costs.

Cutting the buy to seven ships, and then to three, was partly due to the escalating cost of the ships, and partly because the Zumwalts were seen as the wrong ship, at the wrong time. For one thing, the navy was eager to build more of the older, and cheaper, DDG 51s, which had proven highly capable, especially when they underwent an inexpensive modification that gave them the ability to shoot down ballistic missiles. There is now talk of tweaking the DDG 51 design a bit, and forgetting all about DDG 1000.

Compared to the previous class of American destroyers (the DDG 51s), the Zumwalts are very different. The DDG 51s displaced 9,200 tons and had a crew of 360 sailors. The DDG 1000s displace 14,000 tons and have a crew of 142. The DDG 1000s are stealthy and carry a larger gun (two automated, long range 155mm weapons). It also has 80 vertical cells for anti-aircraft, land attack and anti-ship missiles. It can carry one or two helicopters, plus three RQ-8A helicopter UAVs. The DDG 1000s are highly automated and are crammed with the latest electronics. After the first two are built, the next five are expected to cost about $2 billion each. The first DDG 1000 will enter service in 4-5 years.

 

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Slim Pickinz    ummm?   2/9/2009 4:49:54 PM
Wasn't the DDG-1000 cancelled like, months ago? Why was this article written?
 
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ArtyEngineer       2/9/2009 5:18:21 PM
Program still alive, at least according to info at following site:
 
 
Here is Program Schedule:
 
http://peos.crane.navy.mil/DDG1000/images/scheduleIV_lg.jpg" width="885" border="0" />
 
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sinoflex       2/9/2009 6:09:20 PM

I believe Congress forced the Navy to go through with the purchase of the three DDG1000 destroyers.  Obviously the loss of jobs was a large part of the political pressure.  There was also the strategic issue of keeping shipyards open. 

 
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RaptorZ       2/11/2009 4:30:41 PM

Two weeks ago, the Navy canceled plans to build the rest of its hulking stealth destroyers. At first, it looked like the DDG-1000s' $5-billion-a-copy price tag was to blame. Now, it appears the real reason has slipped out: The Navy's most advanced warship is all but defenseless against one of its best-known threats.

We already knew that the older, cheaper, Burke-class destroyers (pictured) are better able to fight off anti-ship missiles -- widely considered the most deadly (and most obvious) hazard to the American fleet. Specifically, the old Burkes can shoot down those missiles using special SM-3 interceptors; the new DDG-1000 cannot.

 
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SAE       2/12/2009 12:51:16 AM
$3.3 billion x 7 is $23.1 billion. $6 billion x 3 is $18 billion. So, what was the money saved by not building all seven of these ships? Four less ships to save $5 billion! It starting to look like what they did to the B-1 and F-22 programs.
 
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Nichevo       2/12/2009 1:04:54 AM

Two weeks ago, the Navy canceled plans to build the rest of its hulking stealth destroyers. At first, it looked like the DDG-1000s' $5-billion-a-copy price tag was to blame. Now, it appears the real reason has slipped out: The Navy's most advanced warship is all but defenseless against one of its best-known threats.


We already knew that the older, cheaper, Burke-class destroyers (pictured) are better able to fight off anti-ship missiles -- widely considered the most deadly (and most obvious) hazard to the American fleet. Specifically, the old Burkes can shoot down those missiles using special SM-3 interceptors; the new DDG-1000 cannot.


WTF?!?!  WTF not???
 
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jlb       2/13/2009 11:04:45 PM
Note that $6bn was the price of an Iowa in 1943 - $500m, adjusted for inflation according to the CPI.
 
As a percentage of GDP, however, an iowa represented about 0.24% of the US 1943 GDP, whereas a Zumwalt represents "only" 0.04% of current US GDP.
 
More interestingly, since the percentage of industrial contribution to the US GDP has roughly halved during the period, a Zumwalt consumes 1/3 of the relative industrial capacity of an Iowa... and is 1/3 of an Iowa's displacement.
 
Therefore, ton for ton, a Zumwalt costs the same proportion of industrial capacity as an Iowa did back in 1943.
 
Thinking about it... a 3t Mustang cost $50,000, about $600,000 in today's dollars.
An F-22 costs about $200m for 20t. Ton for ton, it is 50 times more expensive, costing 16 times as much industrial capacity per ton.
 
If you want super-high-tech state-of-the-art, a 4t P-80 cost $110,000, 1/10 the industrial capacity proportion of an F-22
 
Clearly, warship prices have remained stable, while aircraft prices have skyrocketed.
 
 
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HERALD1357    Rhe Zumwalt will be a testbed class.   2/14/2009 1:55:41 AM
Like the Seawolfs were to the Virginias....the Zumwalts will be to the flight IV Arleighs.
 
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SL       3/22/2009 1:56:29 PM

Two weeks ago, the Navy canceled plans to build the rest of its hulking stealth destroyers. At first, it looked like the DDG-1000s' $5-billion-a-copy price tag was to blame. Now, it appears the real reason has slipped out: The Navy's most advanced warship is all but defenseless against one of its best-known threats.


We already knew that the older, cheaper, Burke-class destroyers (pictured) are better able to fight off anti-ship missiles -- widely considered the most deadly (and most obvious) hazard to the American fleet. Specifically, the old Burkes can shoot down those missiles using special SM-3 interceptors; the new DDG-1000 cannot.



That makes no sense at all.  The SM-3 is noted for its ability to knock down ICBM's, which pose no direct threat to a ship, not for its use against anti-ship missiles.  I think whoever wrote that article clearly demonstrated their ignorance.  I am also pretty sure that considering the new DDG-1000 class will still have VLS (and with larger cells) it will likely be able to carry both current and future missiles.  Larger cells means larger missiles means more propellant mean higher speeds reached means longer range and quicker intercepts.  Even if it isn't intended to field the SM-3, maybe it's intended to field the SM-5 or 6.  Don't criticize what you can't understand.

 
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benellim4       3/22/2009 5:34:50 PM
That makes no sense at all.  The SM-3 is noted for its ability to knock down ICBM's, which pose no direct threat to a ship, not for its use against anti-ship missiles.  I think whoever wrote that article clearly demonstrated their ignorance.  I am also pretty sure that considering the new DDG-1000 class will still have VLS (and with larger cells) it will likely be able to carry both current and future missiles.  Larger cells means larger missiles means more propellant mean higher speeds reached means longer range and quicker intercepts.  Even if it isn't intended to field the SM-3, maybe it's intended to field the SM-5 or 6.  Don't criticize what you can't understand.
 
-I recommend you take your own advice.
 
It has been reported that China is working on an anti-ship ballistic missile. One with a 1500km range. It is against those missiles you will need an umbrella of SM-3s in which to operate.
 
SM-6, by the way, is the ERAM, Extended Range Active Missile. It is, essentially, an SM-2 Block IV mated with an AMRAAM seeker. The DDGs and CGs in service are expected to get this capability when the missile enters service in a year and a half to two years.
 
 
Since the DDG-1000 isn't an Aegis platform, the Navy would have to invest a lot of time and money into its combat system to give it BMD capability. And that capability would only be as proven as existing Aegis technology by a series of costly tests and development spirals.
 
ht*p://www.defensetech.org/archives/004265.html
ht*p://www.janes.com/defence/naval_forces/news/jdw/jdw060118_1_n.shtml
ht*p://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3307277
 
 
 
 
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