US Navy’s New Destroyer’s Accurate Guns with Ammo $800,000 per RoundPosted: November 10, 2016
Washington post says in its report “The Navy called USS Zumwalt a warship Batman would drive. But at $800,000 per round, its ammo is too pricey to fire” on November 8 that US Navy’s brand new destroyer USS Zumwalt has two advanced accurate guns able to hit targets 63 nautical miles (70 miles) away. The GPS-guided and rocket-propelled warheads from the gun fall at nearly vertical angle with minimal collateral damage even in the urban canyons of coastal cities.
However, while China says its long-range accurate rocket artillery’s ammo is much cheaper than missile, each shot of the US destroy’s most advanced guns costs $800,000 a little less than a Tomahawk cruise missile as accurate with a much longer range exceeding 1,000 miles.
However, Tomahawk is easy to intercept as it flies at subsonic speed while the rocket propelled gunshot must be flying at hypersonic speed that makes it entirely impossible to intercept. It is, therefore, certainly worthwhile to build such expensive destroyer that costs $4.4 billion each and purchase thousands of rounds for the destroyer’s guns. According to the report one such destroyer needs a full stock of 600 rounds. That will cost $480 million. No country in the world except the US is rich enough to afford such ammunition.
However, no country other than the US needs such naval ammunition to attack other countries’ urban areas. China, the second largest economy in the world, has made clear that its strategy is active defense. Such a strategy certainly requires no warship with accurate ammunition to attack others’ coastal cities.
Such most advanced warship and its ammunition must scare all others to ensure US status as the only world hegemon. Sadly, no one is scared by US most powerful military in the world, not even Iran or the world poorest nation North Korea.
As for China, with its powerful coastal radar and state-of-art AEW&C aircrafts, China is still able to detect the destroyer though it has reduced its radar cross section to one twelfth of its size. Even so, its length of 610 feet will only be reduced to 51 feet still easy for powerful land-based radar to discover.
China’s Type 022 missile fast boats are smaller with much smaller radar cross section and much better visual and acoustic invisibility. A flotilla of 23 boats can sneak very fast close to the destroyer hundreds of miles away from Chinese coast and fire all their nearly 200 missiles at the destroyer and then flee away leaving the missiles be guided by AEW&C aircraft or other warship. What the guns can do to deal with such a flotilla? They are designed to hit still land targets instead of fast moving targets at sea.
Moreover, a much smaller country can buy China’s advanced rocket artillery with a maximum range of 300 km. They are able to destroy the destroyer before it comes so near to attack their cities.
Coastal defense has much greater fire power than a naval fleet with such a destroyer.
The report gives me the impression that US navy is developing its weapons as toys. Boys compare their toys with various functions without consideration of their actual usage. What is the US navy’s strategic goal in developing such an expensive destroyer and purchasing such expensive ammunition for the destroyer? To attack enemy coastal cities? Not realistic and much less cost effective than an aircraft carrier that costs only three times of the destroyer but has much greater fire power in attacking land, sea and air targets.
Development of expensive military toys! That is why US huge military target still cannot satisfy its military’s needs.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Washington Post’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/08/the-navy-called-uss-zumwalt-a-warship-batman-would-drive-but-at-800000-per-round-its-ammo-is-too-pricey-to-fire/?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange.