History The Zumwalt project dates back to the early nineties. Then the American naval forces developed the requirements for promising ships, which were to be put into operation at the beginning of the XXI century. In connection with such terms of the beginning of service of the ships, promising programs received the designations CG21 (cruiser) and DD21 (destroyer). A little later, the development programs for cruisers and destroyers were renamed CG (X) and DD (X). Requirements for new ships were quite high. Both cruisers and destroyers had to perform a wide range of combat and non-combat missions. Depending on the situation and the need for any of the promising ships, they had to attack enemy ships or submarines, protect the formations from an air attack, evacuate the population from dangerous zones, etc.
Already the first calculations showed that the cost of such a universal ship may not fit into a reasonable framework. In this regard, Congress insisted on the closure of one of the programs. According to the results of the analysis, it was decided to abandon the CG (X) cruisers and concentrate all efforts on the creation of destroyers. Thus, after the decommissioning of all Ticonderoga-type cruisers in the US Navy, it was proposed to use the destroyers Arleigh Burke and DD (X) as multipurpose missile ships.
For financial reasons, one project was closed, and soon the second started having problems. Full compliance with the requirements of the customer, according to calculations, should have led to a significant increase in the cost of design work and the construction of ships. Originally planned to build a new type of 32 destroyer. However, an assessment of their cost and budget opportunities led to several cuts to the planned series. A few years ago, Congress reduced the provision for the destroyers Zumvolt to a level sufficient to build only three ships. It is worth noting that after this there were proposals to complete the construction of the head destroyer and close an overly expensive project, but the Pentagon was able to defend three ships. It should also be noted that by the time the design work on the Zumwalt project began, the requirements had been changed in the direction of simplification. Because of this, the existing prospective project has several major differences from the planned DD (X).
Preparations for the construction of the lead ship DDG-1000 began in the autumn of 2008, and the groundbreaking ceremony took place in November of 2011. At the end of October 2013, the first destroyer of the new project was launched. Preliminary work on the construction of the hull of the second ship DDG-1001 (USS Michael Monsoor) was launched in September 2009 at the Ingalls Shipbuilding plant. In 2015, it is planned to hand over the lead destroyer to the customer and continue the construction of the following ships. The order for the third destroyer DDG-1002 is planned for the 2018 fiscal year.
According to reports, the cost of each of the three new destroyers, taking into account the cost of creating the project, can overcome the mark in 7 billion dollars. For comparison, the new ships of the Arleigh Burke project cost the treasury about 1,8 billion, which is more than three times less than the cost of the Zumvolts. It should be borne in mind that the construction time of the third prospective destroyer, which is planned to be ordered only in 2018, can affect its price accordingly. Thus, there is every reason to believe that the total cost of the program will constantly increase.
New Zumwalt destroyers will serve in the US Navy over the next few decades. It is the reserve for the future that explains the many original and bold technical solutions that immediately catch the eye. The most noticeable feature of the new ships is their appearance. In the past few decades, engineers have tried to reduce the visibility of ships for radar systems and have achieved some success in this. In the case of the Zumvolt destroyers, reducing visibility became the main task in designing hull and superstructure contours. A promising American destroyer is similar to a long and narrow platform, in the middle of which is located a superstructure of complex shape. All the contours of the surface part of the ship are a complex system of planes that are connected to each other at different angles.
The hull of the ship has a relatively low side, providing reduced visibility. It should also be noted that the sides are tilted inwards. Due to the use of low sides, the authors of the project had to apply the original stem of a characteristic shape. Such hull lines provide high running performance and at the same time reduce the ship’s visibility for radars. In the middle of the two thousand years, the AESD Sea Jet demonstrator was built, which tested the capabilities of the hull of the original form. The test results of the experimental boat showed the correctness of the calculations. Nevertheless, there are still doubts about the real characteristics of the new destroyer. There are suspicions that the nose of the ship will be buried in the water.
The USS Zumwalt ship (DDG-1000) turned out to be large: the hull length is about 183 meters, the maximum width is 24,6 m. The displacement of the destroyer is approximately equal to 14,5 thousand tons. It is noteworthy that with such dimensions and displacement, the Zumvolt ships are larger than not only the Orly Burk destroyers, but also the Ticonderoga cruisers.
In their combat capabilities promising ships must also surpass existing cruisers and destroyers. The refusal of the CG (X) program led to the transfer of some functions that had previously been assigned to cruisers to destroyers. Although in the course of determining the technical and financial appearance of the project, the prospective destroyer lost some elements of equipment and weapons, according to his characteristics he must be ahead of the existing types of ships.
As the main power plant on the USS Zumwalt ship, two Rolls-Royce Marine Trent-30 gas turbine engines with a total capacity of 105 thousand hp are used. The engines are connected to electric generators, which power all the systems of the ship, including two electric motors, rotating propellers. The similar architecture of the power plant made it possible to ensure a relatively high running performance of the ship. The declared maximum speed of the destroyer exceeds 30 nodes. In addition, two generators provide electricity to all ship systems. The parameters of the electrical system allow in the future, as part of modernization, to equip ships with new equipment and weapons.
The main armament of the Zumvolt destroyers is the Mk 57 universal vertical launcher. This system is a further development of a similar launcher Mk 41 used on modern cruisers and destroyers. The ship Zumwalt will carry on 20 modules Mk 57, located in different parts of the hull. Each of the modules has four cells for rockets. The launcher cell can hold from one to four missiles, depending on their size. In 80 launcher cells it is proposed to load missiles of various types: anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, etc. The specific composition of the ammunition will be determined in accordance with the tasks that must be performed by the ship.
The main anti-aircraft ammunition Zumwalt destroyers will be the RIM-162 ESSM rocket. Earlier it was claimed that the SM-2, SM-3 and SM-6 missiles would be included in the ammunition of the ships, but at the moment there is no new information about such weapons. It is possible that work is currently continuing on the preparation of missile systems for use on prospective destroyers, and the expansion of the available nomenclature of armaments will take place only after the main ship has been accepted into the Navy. To attack enemy submarines, Zumvolt destroyers will carry RUM-139 VL-ASROC anti-submarine missiles.
An interesting feature of the Zumwalt destroyer armament complex is the fact that there is currently no information on the use of anti-ship missiles. Obviously, the existing RGM-84 Harpoon missiles were considered unsuitable for use on prospective destroyers. A similar approach was applied in the formation of requirements for the latest at the moment series of destroyers of the type Arleigh Burke.
In the nose of the destroyer DDG-1000, it is proposed to install two AGS artillery systems with 155 caliber guns. The AGS system is a gun turret with advanced underdeck units. An interesting feature of this artillery installation is ammunition. Despite the caliber, the AGS system will not be able to use existing 155-mm ammunition. Especially for the new naval artillery, an LRAPS projectile was created. Active-reactive ammunition is similar to a rocket: its length exceeds the 2,2 meter, and after exiting the barrel, it must spread its wings and stabilizer. With its own weight 102 kg projectile can carry 11-kilogram warhead. Using inertial and satellite navigation systems, an LRAPS projectile can hit targets at a distance of at least 80 km.
The total ammunition of the two artillery systems will be 920 shells. In the styling of the automatic loading of both systems AGS will be 600 ammunition. The length of the projectile made it necessary to apply several interesting solutions in the design and operation of automatic loading. So, ammunition will be fed to the gun in an upright position. To do this, before loading, the barrel of the gun must be raised to a vertical position. Shooting is possible with an elevation from -5 ° to + 70 °. The original automatic loader, according to official data, provides the rate of fire at the level of 10 rounds per minute. Declared the possibility of shooting long lines.
In the past, it was argued that Zumwalt destroyers could be the first ships in the world carrying an electromagnetic gun. Similar developments already exist, but they are far from being used on military technology. One of the main problems of this promising weapons is its colossal power consumption. When using electric generators installed on new destroyers, for firing an electromagnetic gun, it would have been necessary to switch off almost all electronic systems for a while. It is quite clear that such features of work put an end to the use of such systems in practice.
Artillery armament of promising destroyers consists of two AGS installations and two Swedish-made Bofors Mk 110 anti-aircraft guns. It is noteworthy that the caliber of these guns is much larger than the caliber of the previously used anti-aircraft systems. The reason for using 57-mm guns can be considered the fact that the power of 20- and 30-mm projectiles is not enough to ensure the destruction of modern and prospective anti-ship missiles. Thus, the greater power of 57 caliber shells can compensate for a lower rate of fire at 220 rounds per minute.
The stern of Zumwalt ships has a hangar for helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. Destroyers will be able to carry one SH-60 or MH-60R helicopter, as well as up to three MQ-8 drones. So small aviation the group will be able to provide monitoring of the environment and take on some of the functions of the ship’s electronic complex.
To monitor the situation and control weapons, Zumvolt destroyers will receive a Raytheon AN / SPY-3 multi-function radar with an active phased antenna array. Earlier it was planned to install the second Lockheed Martin AN / SPY-4 radar on new ships, but later it was abandoned. The use of two stations operating in different bands at once was considered too expensive and not providing a corresponding increase in performance. Thus, ships under construction will be equipped with only one radar station.
Destroyers Zumwalt will be able to search for submarines and mines. To do this, they will be equipped with three hydroacoustic complexes AN / SQS-60, AN / SQS-61 and AN / SQR-20. The first two are installed in the ship's hull, the third has a towed sonar station. It is argued that the characteristics of the hydro-acoustic complexes of the new destroyers will be significantly higher than the equipment of existing ships of the Arleigh Burke type.
Quality and quantity
Based on the available data, it can be assumed that prospective destroyers of the Zumwalt type will become the most advanced among all the ships of the US Navy. Nevertheless, the existing advantages of a technical and combat nature, under certain circumstances, can be completely leveled out by the existing minuses. The main drawback of the new project is the high cost. The cost of the lead ship, taking into account development costs, is estimated at 7 billion dollars. Thus, the new destroyer costs about the same as the last American aircraft carrier of the Nimitz type, the USS George HW Bush (CVN-77), cost. Such a high cost destroyers caused a radical reduction in the planned series.
Even if congressmen holding austerity positions do not sell the abandonment of one or even two destroyers of the Zumvolt type, the total number of these ships in the US naval forces will remain too small. Only three destroyers - even if by their characteristics they are superior to all existing ships by head - are unlikely to have a serious impact on the overall potential of the Navy. In other words, the newest destroyers run the risk of becoming what they call a white elephant or a suitcase without a handle. An expensive project, the cost of which in the light of recent funding cuts may seem unreasonably high, while maintaining existing views, will not be able to produce the expected results in terms of combat effectiveness fleet.
In the context of the Zumwalt project, the Pentagon’s plans for the ships of the Arleigh Burke project look interesting. According to statements of recent years, the construction of these destroyers will continue, and they will serve until the seventies of the 21st century. How long the Zumvolt destroyers will serve is not quite clear. Nevertheless, even without taking into account the length of service, we can confidently say that most of the combat work will fall on the ships of the old project.
To justify the new ships, it should be said that a large number of new technical solutions and technologies have been applied in the Zumwalt project. Therefore, promising destroyers will become a platform for developing equipment, weapons and technologies that will be used on ships of the future.
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