Military Review

The Zumwalt destroyers, or the Floating Appendix to the old report

In the early eighties, American military analyst Franklin Spinnay published a report that caused a lot of discussion and almost became the reason for the real scandal. The document exposed the desire of the military department to receive more and more new weapons with ever higher characteristics while completely ignoring the financial implications for the economy of the whole country. Spinnay condemned this phenomenon and proposed a number of steps to reduce defense spending without compromising the quality of weapons. Over the past three decades in the US budget, including the military, much has changed, but there are still disputes about the feasibility of certain expenses.

A few months ago, in late spring of this year, it became known that the US Congress was not entirely satisfied with the promising project of the Zumwalt destroyers. The main claims are caused by the financial side of the development and construction of these ships. The adoption of the parent DDG-1000 Zumwalt is planned only in 2014, and no less than 10-12 billion dollars have already been spent on the development and implementation of the program. In the light of recent American trends regarding budgetary spending cuts, such expenditures for the construction of new equipment for fleet look, at least ambiguous. Moreover, a number of congressmen are now demanding that the Zamvolt project be closed due to its economic inefficiency. As for the three ships of this project under construction, they are still offered to complete and, so be it, accept them into the fleet. However, the same congressmen are against paying special attention to these destroyers - it can also lead to increased costs.

It is quite obvious that the Pentagon began to save on new projects only relatively recently. A few decades ago, he applied a technique that can be called “make-pay”. In the end, this led to some unpleasant consequences, but now it's not about them. The traditional post-war approach of the US military to the creation of new weapons and equipment implied the achievement of the required characteristics at any or almost any price. By initiating the development of the Zumwalt project, the Pentagon hoped to get a new warship with low visibility for tracking the enemy and solid weapons with the possibility of its modular deployment. As a result, engineers Northrop Grumman, Bath Iron Works, Raytheon and BAE Systems managed to create a project that completely suits the customer. However, the result was dubious in financial terms. In addition, the hull lines and prerequisites for them became the object of criticism almost immediately.

Externally, the destroyers "Zamvolt" to some extent resemble the famous stealth aircraft Lockheed Martin F-117A. The same flat panels, the same clear edges and the same unusual look. In principle, a similar dubious fate can be added here, but further events around destroyers, unlike airplanes, still remain in question. A certain similarity of the concept of external contours of the ship and the aircraft is associated with the requirements of the military regarding the radar stealth. According to reports, the new destroyers were designed to participate in amphibious operations and should be able to covertly approach the enemy coast, followed by a strike from the receiver and rocket armament. However, this method of application raises certain questions. The fact is that the draft of the Zumwalt destroyers is only a meter less than that of the ships of the Arleigh Burke project. Of course, the Zamvolt has a significantly longer body length and is wider than the destroyers Arly Burk, but it does not have a noticeable advantage in the depth necessary for the passage. However, Zumwalt is equipped with the AN / SQS-60, AN / SQS-61 and AN / SQR-20 sonars, primarily designed to track objects at shallow depths.

It turns out that the equipment of new destroyers is still more "sharpened" for work in the coastal zone. Strictly speaking, this was one of the reasons for using stealth technology. The characteristic contours of the ship's hull, as stated, provide sufficient efficiency for dispersing radar radiation. According to official information, the Zamvolt with a hull length of more than 180 meters on the radar screen looks just like a Los Angeles submarine. The noise of the propulsion system of the ship and its propulsion units is approximately at the same level as the boats of this project. Finally, to reduce the probability of detection along the wake, Zumwalt has a special hull, which significantly reduces the outgoing waves from the ship. True, for the special shape of the hull and superstructure had to pay driving performance. For example, the nose of a ship of a specific form does not allow to go at high speed with an excitement above four or five points. Beveling the front of the nose in such conditions leads to "burrowing", which is clearly not a good feature. However, for the sake of stealth, it was decided to make the hull of the bow of the hull just such. Apparently, the calculations showed that at a maximum speed of about 30 nodes the destroyer will not have big problems with lowering the nose.

Another controversial topic is the ship’s energy system. Two gas turbine units manufactured by Rolls Royce provide the total power in 78 MW. Power transmission systems are designed in such a way that, if necessary, you can redirect a certain part of the current to any unit, whether it is a running engine or a weapon system. It is argued that the equipment and armament of the ship may require power up to 55-58 megawatts, but the remaining resources of the electrical system will be enough to move at a speed of about twenty knots. Such colossal indicators of the allocated power are explained by the groundwork for the future. In the future, Zumwalt, instead of artillery towers, should receive promising rail cannons, which are just being developed. To achieve the combat characteristics in which this weapon will noticeably exceed the traditional barrel systems, enormous power will be required, and it is for this purpose that the Zamvolts power system has been provided with such high rates. At the same time, the whole complex of electrical systems turned out to be bulky and heavy. In addition, its cost "ate" a large part of the total project budget. In light of the Congress’s desire to save on everything, the desire of the military right now to ensure the possibility of applying the not yet created weapons became the object of serious criticism. Perhaps one of the congressmen has already made inquiries and found out how much money could be saved on equipping the Zamvolts with their usual power plants and electricity distribution systems.

As for the rest of the weapons of the project Zumwalt destroyers, it is unlikely to cause such a harsh reaction of officials and other fans to save on defense. The armament complex of these ships is based on the Mk.57 modular launchers with which you can use a wide range of guided weapons, from anti-aircraft to anti-submarine and cruise missiles. The maximum ammunition launchers - 80 missiles. The Mk.57 system is a further development of the already operated Mk.19, therefore it should not cause any special complaints.

Yet a far bigger question is the practical use of Zamvoltov, including in battles. In this regard, a promising project falls into economic and practical "ticks". When operating near the coast, supporting, for example, the landing of the landing force, the destroyer still risks being detected and attacked. Given the cost of building just one such ship, we can assume the "interest" of the enemy and its activity in the detection and destruction of Zumwalt destroyers. In addition, a solid stock of weapons and its diversity is also capable of spurring active operations - it is unlikely that any country will want to see a floating missile base from its shores. Thus, coastal work for the destroyers "Zamvolt" is to some extent suitable, but rather risky. An alternative to attacks on ground objects can be the escort of trade caravans or participation in carrier strike groups as a ship of escort. However, in this case, the whole point disappears in stealth technology, because the invisibility of destroyers will be more than compensated by the characteristic forms of the aircraft carrier.

In general, upon careful consideration of the new project of the “destroyers of the future,” it becomes clear why the congressmen are so opposed to it. In general, a successful and interesting project turned out to be too expensive and, perhaps, too new to give out a large amount of money to it. Therefore, the three ships under construction will be assembled and will be commissioned. Unlike other 29, which were in the plans of the Pentagon. Most likely, they will not even be laid - the disputes around the project have reached the point of no return, when military officials should prepare for a “battle” for ships on the stocks that supporters of savings from Congress may soon pay attention to. Thus, the destroyers Zumwalt became another proof of the existence of an unpleasant phenomenon, described thirty years ago. It seems that someone in the American military leadership should brush the dust from the old report of Mr. Spinnay and familiarize himself with it more closely.

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  1. Beck
    Beck 19 October 2012 08: 31
    Well what to say? Again stomp ahead. Again, in 10-15 years, Zamvolt will have to catch up. And as we catch up, let's look ahead, and again the amers will stomp with a new development. Well, as always.
    1. Igor
      Igor 19 October 2012 08: 59
      This is up to Arly Berkov 15-20 years, and until Zamvolt all 40)))
      1. predator.2
        predator.2 19 October 2012 12: 26
        So the unrestrained 90s, the stupidly spent "noughties", are haunted by us!
    2. mikhalich
      mikhalich 19 October 2012 09: 29
      Quote: Beck
      Well what to say? Again stomp ahead. Again, in 10-15 years, Zamvolt will have to catch up. And as we catch up, let's look ahead, and again the amers will stomp with a new development. Well, as always.

      By the way, yes, it looks like this is the "Natural course of things" =)
  2. maxiv1979
    maxiv1979 19 October 2012 09: 06
    technology is watching, shipyards are studying, the company buys machines, it trains people, continuous production, you break - 955 projects, and with it 885, shit is shitty noisy
    1. patsantre
      patsantre 19 October 2012 09: 27
      Can you speak Russian?
      1. PSih2097
        PSih2097 19 October 2012 10: 12
        Can you speak Russian?

        I think it's about production technology and build quality.
        1. patsantre
          patsantre 19 October 2012 12: 17
          And where does the 955 and 885 project and why are they suddenly shit "noisy"?
    2. lelyk72
      lelyk72 19 October 2012 11: 18
      Imagine this same forum in 1981 and 1989. (in 81 the first flight of the F117 fighter, made using stealth technology, in 89, the first flight of the B2, the same bomber). Then there would be the same screams, "here, they say, have fallen behind !!!! Forever !!!!!". Let's see now: F117s have been completely withdrawn from service, production of B2 has been discontinued, although they have not been removed from service, but I think this is not because this is a "super-duper" necessary aircraft, but because of its high cost. if you also write them off, then the progressive public will be very indignant, "how is it, 100500 babal was spent, and everything is in the toilet." The cost of the aircraft does not allow it to be used against a more or less powerful enemy, because of the fear of losing an expensive aircraft frostbitten.
      Conclusion 1. The stealth program in aviation turned out to be a waste of money. And the USSR did the right thing in not splitting itself over such things. Today's planes have "stealth technology," but "stealth" is fucked up.
      Conclusion 2. (Assumption). It seems to me that stealth ships have the same fate.
      1. Pimply
        Pimply 19 October 2012 12: 08
        What F117, what B2 were a huge step in the future development. Now, according to the principles laid down in them, all modern aviation is developing.
        1. lelyk72
          lelyk72 19 October 2012 12: 23
          The step is unconditional, but there was absolutely no need to produce them; it was enough to leave the flying (mandatory to fly) prototypes.
          but the "principles laid down" today are VERY greatly simplified.
          All the same, the aircraft must fly first, and in the second low-earth.
          These aircraft were made invisible, to the detriment of flight performance.
          This ship is also "invisible", to the detriment of seaworthiness. So I disagree with you.
          Is it possible for "you"?
        2. de_monSher
          de_monSher 19 October 2012 20: 27

          Iron, you can make it fly, no one has argued with it and no designer will argue ... the question is - why is it needed, a flying iron? *)

          Where exactly did you see the prospects for the B 2 and F 117 directions? In application tactics? Agree, these slugs need to create ideal conditions for combat work. For them, there must be greenhouse conditions - scattering radiation in one wavelength range, they are in the palm of your hand in another ... so that in the presence of a full-fledged and multi-band radar field, the combat value of these irons rapidly rolls to zero. Moreover, they appeared at the moment when a completely different concept of using aircraft began to crystallize - relatively cheap "flocks" of UAVs, with distributed AI systems, for strike operations over foreign territory ... *) This, you see, is a promising direction. But to work on your territories, it is better to create more "classic" aircraft ... *)

          So, I'm sorry ... B2 and F117, it was still a dough cut, nothing more ... *)
          1. lelyk72
            lelyk72 19 October 2012 23: 06
            their mass production, yes, I drank it. Experimental operation is a useful thing, development of technologies for subsequent generations of aircraft.
            In fact, everything that you say, I have said above.
            1. de_monSher
              de_monSher 20 October 2012 00: 19

              Well, I'm sorry ... *))) I didn’t notice ... *)) A thousand apologies, and a million nods ... *)))) = I got bogged down = ... *))))
  3. patsantre
    patsantre 19 October 2012 09: 21
    Strange, missile weapons will carry less arly birkai with much greater displacement ...
    1. PSih2097
      PSih2097 19 October 2012 10: 10
      zamvolt carries less arly birkai this with a much greater displacement.

      Most likely, they left there free space for promising missile systems, as was already the case with Arly Burke. There was a recent article about them.
  4. maxiv1979
    maxiv1979 19 October 2012 09: 59
    Quote: patsantre
    It’s strange that missile weapons carry less arly birkai with a much larger displacement ..

    do you think by chance we did, there are no free volumes ... but your 956 project is of interest
    1. patsantre
      patsantre 19 October 2012 12: 19
      Can I make it clear somehow?
      Quote: maxiv1979
      do you think by chance we did

      what have you done
      Quote: maxiv1979
      there are no free volumes.

      Quote: maxiv1979
      .and here is your 956 project, is of interest

      where does it come from and what is interesting in a project 40 years ago?

      It seems that you are an Amer and use Google translator to communicate in Russian.
  5. Kars
    Kars 19 October 2012 10: 21
    Interestingly, something interesting appeared about his artillery gun?
    155 mm long ago did not appear on the destroyers.
    1. Foamas
      Foamas 19 October 2012 23: 36
      What are you interested in?
      (last update of data on the topic 03.06.10)
  6. Evrepid
    Evrepid 19 October 2012 10: 57
    Interesting article...
    The race of technology ... Technology spurs itself with technology ...

    Did the Americans catch the fascist Germany’s disease in creating funterwaffen? ...
  7. Foamas
    Foamas 19 October 2012 11: 24
    section assembly video DDG-1000
    1. Tirpitz
      Tirpitz 19 October 2012 17: 49
      When in the USSR they tried to build a ship from separate sections and then connect them, then 90% of the holes did not match, I had to redo it. After that, this idea was abandoned. They wanted to build like the Germans in WWII.
  8. Tektor
    Tektor 19 October 2012 11: 53
    He never said how much this "golden bullet" costs ... It will remind of Fu-22, when they are afraid to send him into battle because of the possibility of losing ...
    1. wolverine7778
      wolverine7778 19 October 2012 20: 41
      She will remind about the Fu-22 when they are afraid to send him into battle because of the possibility of losing ...
      Rave. More dangerous for pilots than the F-22 at the moment there are simply no fighters in service. The project was closed because they created the F-22 during the Cold War against the Warsaw Pact countries, and now there are simply no tasks for a very large number of such fighters. As for the price, even though the F-22s and F-35s are very expensive, the Americans have even more budgets - so they can quite afford and allow (2443 F-35s are ordered)
  9. sas
    sas 19 October 2012 12: 19
    Of course, this is a step forward. They will work out the technology, test it, see what's what, and then they'll adjust the railgun. In any case, this project will be the basis for further development (if the loot does not end) Although "Arlie Burke" amers will be enough for more than one decade. Most likely Zumwalt is waiting for "Seawolf" share.
  10. maxiv1979
    maxiv1979 19 October 2012 15: 33
    Quote: patsantre
    Is it possible to make it clear somehow? Quote: maxiv1979 do you think by chance we did what you did? Quote: maxiv1979, there are no free volumes. It feels like you are an amer and use google translator to communicate in Russian

    we did, it’s us, I know what’s mine there, and what did you do? Russian ABC book?

    956 the project is not new, but it’s not old either, the platform for weapons is not the best, but you demand) you don’t need to mind, let the country of stripping to panties again, but it sounds !! caperang !!)))
    1. patsantre
      patsantre 19 October 2012 18: 10
      Quote: maxiv1979
      What have you done? Russian ABC book?

      If I made it, I would first give it to you, because of your 3 posts I didn’t understand.
      1. Beck
        Beck 19 October 2012 18: 27
        MAXIV 1979 and PATSANTRE

        Guys - CLASS. No offense. The two of you on stage with your lyrics. So Raikin and Papanov would rest backstage.

        From the side, read your remarks to each other again.

        CLASS. If the will of the marshals would have made of you.
        1. alex86
          alex86 19 October 2012 20: 27
          And don't say, just a stream of consciousness, "Notes of the Steppe Wolf-2", and only ...
        2. patsantre
          patsantre 20 October 2012 09: 57
          try: D
    2. de_monSher
      de_monSher 19 October 2012 20: 36

      And what is yours in Zumwalt? *)
  11. Kir
    Kir 19 October 2012 19: 36
    Looks like someone really hates, get loot for a clearly dubious project
    And what about Tirpitz's statement that the holes did not match. so not the first time, by the way, you seem to be a respected engineer, so you can imagine who we have and who their technologists are, so it's not about ideas and hands, but about the "average binder" -technologists !!! He himself worked according to the drawing, where one smart guy in the drawings on the stamp he wrote to rivet, despite the fact that this detail was made from VK, well, what did they all know and did with a diamond washer, well, the Slavic soul cannot be without difficulties !!! But then we will do such that everything ...... !!!
    1. wolverine7778
      wolverine7778 19 October 2012 20: 53
      The project allowed the shipbuilder to chop off $ 7 billion for the Zumwalt project)
  12. wolverine7778
    wolverine7778 19 October 2012 20: 52
    This Zumwalt is likely to serve as an incubator of advanced technology, as the US Navy will modernize its fleet, preparing it for 21st century conflicts. It will be an ideal platform for energy-intensive weapons systems of the future, such as lasers and electromagnetic guns. And if today changes in the nature of threats and budgetary constraints make Zumwalt class ships very unpopular, then in future conflicts destroyers may be needed again if the fleet is tasked with removing someone’s door)
    1. Kir
      Kir 19 October 2012 21: 20
      Interestingly, all these energy-consuming, that will be so shielded and will not give new "signs" for detection.
  13. Armata
    Armata 21 October 2012 15: 03
    Interestingly, there are controversial opinions among shipbuilders about changing the geometry of the bow of the ship. A lot of minuses, and just a few pluses. I will give only a few. On such a ship, the waves will reach the deck an order of magnitude higher, crawling onto the packs is practically impossible (just as with partial flooding of the bow compartment the navigational qualities change), the geometry reduces the effective space of the ship, etc. Of the advantages are higher speed qualities (someone recently said that speed is not the main thing now) and up to 4-6 points more efficient wave dissection (albeit with overwhelming), but again do not dive on it under the wave in a raid (knife effect , try turning the knife over and sharpen it on the other side and it will start burying itself in oil).
  14. Ksr
    Ksr 29 December 2012 21: 43
    They make an electromagnetic gun for this ship!