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U.S. Navy’s latest, Greatest Warship Now Lacks Ammunition

U.S. Navy’s latest, Greatest Warship Now Lacks Ammunition

Meanwhile, U.S. Navy issues its official transgender policy booklet!

A few weeks ago, I noted that the U.S. Navy’s latest ship, a high-tech destroyer named the U.S.S. Zumwalt, sprung a leak on its maiden voyage.

Now, it seems that there isn’t enough money to fuel its big guns.

The U.S. Navy is slated to cancel the projectiles for the two big guns that outfit its newest and most advanced warship due to excessive costs that total an estimated $800,000 per round.

The Long Range Land-Attack Projectile, or LRLAP, is the only guided precision ammunition designed to be fired by the USS Zumwalt, a land-attack destroyer that was created to hold two 155 millimeter/62-caliber Advanced Gun Systems that could, according to defense contractor Lockheed Martin, “defeat targets in the urban canyons of coastal cities with minimal collateral damage,” Defense News reported.

The announcement comes just two weeks after the U.S. Navy commissioned the warship.

You would have thought that the smart set in charge of the budget would have accounted for the price-per-round before approving the project. Here is how the destroyer was suppose to work:

…The Zumwalt-class destroyers were conceived in the late 1990s as the first of a new generation of stealthy warships. The radar signature of the 610 foot long warship is that of a 50-foot fishing boat, making the Zumwalts great for getting in close to an enemy coastline and then using the 155-millimeter Advanced Gun Systems mounted on the front of the hull. The guns were designed to fire the advanced Long Range Land Attack Projectile, a GPS guided shell with a range of 60 miles.

The result would have been a destroyer that could rain shells down on enemy targets incredible accuracy, clearing a path for U.S. Marines as they advance inland. Alternately, they could strike targets such as terrorist training camps, military bases, and other static targets. Each Advanced Gun System is fed by a magazine containing 600 rounds of the ammunition, making it capable destroying hundreds of targets at a rate of up to ten per minute.

The guns on this high-tech marvel were suppose to be the largest used on a warship since World War II and are critical to the Zumwalts’ mission as land-attack destroyers. U.S. Navy officials indicate alternative projectiles will be developed.

Meanwhile, Americans can rest at ease knowing that the U.S. Navy has issued its official booklet detailing its transgender policy.

A new 12-page handbook released by the Navy today describes in detail when and how a sailor can complete a gender transition, down to how transgender sailors can participate in urinalysis tests and when it is appropriate to wear clothing of a preferred gender during visits to foreign ports.

The guidance also contains a caution for sailors hoping to transition: they will be expected to pass the physical fitness requirements of their preferred gender immediately on transition, and are expected to take the initiative to train to those standards in advance.

For those of you interested, the full 69-page implementation policy is here…free of charge.

But no matter what your gender, guns on the ships don’t work without ammunition!


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buckeyeminuteman | November 8, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Expect more of the same with a mad’am president. Also, $800,000 per round??? Our enemies are using AK-47s, machetes and suicide vests. And we’re shooting at them with million dollar bullets? It’s pretty obvious who is going to win that fight according to Sun Tzu’s “Principles of War”.

It sprung a leak. Government response; “This is typical of a new ship.” They never realize that it being “typical” is the real problem.

As far as the ammo, well its not like the current administration nor the most likely next one will ever let it shoot at anything, unless it is a group of conservatives with scary looking guns.

In light of “Report: Benghazi Guards Betrayed U.S. Diplomats in 2012 Attack”, I wonder how this latest, greatest warship would feel with an alien, or perhaps anti-American, behind the wheel.

Guided precision ammunition. Hmmm. Something like a torpedo, cruise missile, or ASROC, but one which can survive the g-forces of being fired from a gun.

Actually, $800k might be a bargain.

The problem with expensive munitions in peacetime is that the budget seriously constrains target practice.

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to tom swift. | November 8, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Or armor works well against IEDs. Our medical system saves lives. The troops survive, but they often are missing limbs or have had their brains concussed. Who is going to pay for a lifetime of care for our veterans?

    Procurement of weapons is a version of public works. But money for veterans is another story. These weapons can take ground. But then our troops get blown up holding that ground and we don’t want to pay for their lifetime of pain.

    Merlin in reply to tom swift. | November 8, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Lefties would rather drop rocks from Cessna Skyhawks. Much cheaper, nobody gets hurt, and they can still proclaim themselves warriors.

      OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Merlin. | November 8, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      Given that we have spent trillions since we invaded Afghanistan, I actually might prefer rocks from Cessna. Our opponents are using scavenged explosives, copper wire or cell phones and they are winning.

      Which of our weapons will win the hearts and minds of the people we are supposed to be protecting? When someone works as a translator for us, he risks his life and then we don’t want to admit him into our country.

      tom swift in reply to Merlin. | November 8, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      Even better than rocks, they can drop big lumpy bundles of transgender policy booklets.

      That’ll show ’em what it means to mess with Uncle Sam. At least until he becomes Auntie Sam. Hey, better save a few of those booklets …

        OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to tom swift. | November 8, 2016 at 4:32 pm

        Actually, that is a scene in a Tyrone Power movie called “A Yank in the R.A.F.”. It is hard to be original.

OnlyRightDissentAllowed | November 8, 2016 at 3:23 pm

I am going to bookmark this article as the object lesson on the follies of conservatism.

Is the claim being made that because the Navy created a policy on transgender sailors, they couldn’t afford a weapon that costs $800K per round? There is definitely something wrong here, but I think you need to turn your telescope around.

Perhaps you are not aware that in a recent test, F-16’s decisively defeated F-35’s that cost $135 MILLION a copy. The F-35 is a fat, lazy dog that can’t get out of its own way. Is that also because the Navy, Marines and Air Force developed a policy on sexual assault?

    I want to thank you sir.

    You have provided the most spectacular comedic non-sequitur trollish post that I have ever seen on this site.

    Before I could post this, I had to pick myself up off the floor because I was literally rolling around, laughing my ass off in a hysterical giggle fit of a gargantuan proportion.

    Again, sincere thanks for injecting such frivolity on this horrendous day.

      OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Miles. | November 8, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      The whole article is a non-sequitur. But you laugh as loud and long as you like.

      OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Miles. | November 8, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      On 2nd thought, if you think hugely expensive weapons that don’t work are a laughing matter, you must be in constant stitches. I know you think you are laughing at the messenger, but you should save a chuckle or two for the weapons that cost a king’s ransom; and the wars we lose because our opponent can put together an IED for 10 bucks. They can send out a sniper for nothing except for a captured rifle.

      Have a good laugh at the taxpayers expense; knowing that the candidate you support hasn’t paid taxes in 20 years and you cheered him.

        Your putting words in my mouth is what defines you as nothing more than – somewhat – comedic relief around here. You best resemble a less humorous version of Jeff Dunham’s dummy, Walter.

        I’ve never posted that I “cheered” or even supported Trump, or had any other comment about the the candidates. So we see you showing you ass again, but that’s usual for you.

        And I don’t think I’m laughing at the messenger. I know I am.
        Ah Hah, hahahah.

    It’s about priorities. When you can’t afford ammunition, you don’t spend a single second or a single cent on social engineering.

In reality, we only need precision munitions for an “extended pinky” fight.

Just rain down death and steel on them…cheap.

155 rounds are standard fair, and are plenty accurate in their dumb iteration.

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Ragspierre. | November 8, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    There are a lot of pissed off Pakistanis from the small amount of ‘collateral damage’ our armed UAVs have done. We are not going to win the kind of wars we are fighting with either approach.

    There is also the matter of war crimes when you rain down steel in places with lots of civilians. I doubt we win many hearts and minds that way, either.

      See the problem there is that we actually care that there are pissed off whoever’s. It is incomprehensible to me the number of idiots that believe warfare can be humane.

      It’s a very simple foreign policy one that we had before that made us a super power and that is a belief in efficient warfare without apology. Basically if you make me come to your sandbox and break your toys, I am gonna break them good and I am not gonna apologize or buy you new toys afterward.

      The mistake we made in the middle east was the whole “nation building” mission. The people in that are of the world don’t want to be like america so why should we try to force them to be like america? How do you deal with Saddam? You hang him then install a new pet psychopath, which is how Saddam got he job in the first place, and you bring your people home and tell the new psycho that if he goes off the reservation the same will happen to him. Simple and effective.

      The ship class in question is not designed for “the kind of wars we’re fighting”, ya moron.

      When the Marines are coming and need fire support from ships, “the hearts and minds” of the non-combatants had better be WAY far away.

      You are a persistent idiot.

Well, when you cancel a project, such as the Zumwalt class of warships, you render many parts of the original design uneconomical to complete.

The original program called for 32 ships, each with 3 guns for a total of 96 guns plus spares. A special round was designed for this gun that had a range of over 60 nautical miles.

With the program cut back to only 3 ships for a total of nine guns, it simply isn’t worth while to build a factory to make the special extended range rounds. The only rounds currently available were 150 hand made prototype rounds for testing purposes. These hand made rounds cost $113 million to make but building a factory to make 150 rounds would have cost a whole more.

Canceling an entire class of ships, planes, what have you will definitely leave some awkward, hard to justify numbers wandering around in the paperwork.

    Merlin in reply to MSO. | November 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm


    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to MSO. | November 8, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    “Canceling an entire class of ships, planes, what have you will definitely leave some awkward, hard to justify numbers wandering around in the paperwork.”

    Are you so sanguine when a solar factory with a government guaranteed loan goes bust? Before you answer, consider that most of the government backed loans were repaid.

    trevord in reply to MSO. | November 8, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Bingo! We have a winner! When the development, tooling and manufacturing costs of programs that were designed to be 10-11 times larger than they now are, that means everything is going to cost more. A lot more.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to MSO. | November 8, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    See there is another problem with a program like this, there was never any intention of building 32 of these ships. They use big numbers like that so that the early contractors who are their friends can get the big start up money that they don’t have to pay back when the program is dumped. Every single ship should be approved by congress one by one, period, if we make them do it that way they would also have less time to screw up the rest of the country.

thought this gun was swapped out with ones that used existing ammo.
guess not
problem is there is no way to mass produce the ammo for the 4 or so (I forget actual number) ships in this class.

It seems like an inexpensive outlay with a multi-trillion dollar taxable revenue and multi-trillion dollar debasement of capital and labor.

Is Joycelyn Elders working for the Pentagon now?

The end intent of the LRLAP program was to make something go *boom* in a very precise location up to sixty miles away from the ship. The obvious problem of a $800k 155mm shell is that a $400k SM2-ER missile could be modified for specific GPS targeting for around half the price, allowing a *proven* Standard missile to put approximately the same amount of *boom* into the same spot for half the cost tomorrow, instead of hopefully sometime in the near future gosh we hope the development costs don’t make this run a million dollars a shell and we can’t afford to fire any of them because the factory shut down and replacements now cost 4mil each.

Good idea to drop this round. The M982 Excaliber 155mm, GPS guided artillery shell, currently in service with the US Army and USMC has a range of 23-30mi and is accurate to within 15 feet of a designated target. Its naval variant, designated N5, has similar performance. And, the unit cost is $68000. Also, usually, anything farther than 10-15 miles from the shoreline is not considered “coastal”. So, a projectile with a 60 mile range, while nice to have, is not really worth the 10x price point over existing munitions.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Mac45. | November 8, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Yea seems to me that if you are going that far inland you are better off with a “Smart” missile like a Harpoon or a Tomahawk.