US deploys $9 billion super frigate to Asia

The destroyer USS Zumwalt, worth more than $9 billion, was sent by the US to the Asia-Pacific region for testing and operation, but has not been on a real mission.

“USS Zumwalt is present in the 7th Fleet area of ​​responsibility. Integrating Zumwalt into fleet operations is an important step for this class of ships. The Zumwalt class possesses a wide range of weapons and advanced technology, sufficient to confrontation with forces in the air, under the sea, on the sea and on the ground,” US Navy spokesman Mark Langford said on September 22.

Zumwalt is assigned to the Destroyer Squadron of Strike Group 71, the largest US forward destroyer unit and also the main surface combat force of the 7th Fleet.

The US Navy announced on September 19 that the destroyer USS Zumwalt had made its first port of call in Guam and that the warship would “continue to operate in support of the free and open Indo-Pacific”. This is the farthest deployment of the USS Zumwalt since it was commissioned for the US Navy.

USS Zumwalt sailed in the Pacific Ocean in April. Photo: US Navy.

USS Zumwalt sailed in the Pacific Ocean in April. Photo: US Navy.

“We do not call USS Zumwalt’s current Indo-Pacific deployment a mission. The ship and crew are conducting normal operations, but the deployment is part of the process.” integrating the new battleship into the combat environment, as well as evaluating its ability to coordinate with the ships in the fleet. We are also evaluating the maintenance and operational capabilities of the Zumwalt class,” said the statement. US Navy spokesman added.

The Zumwalt class is considered one of the most expensive military projects in American history, but has been disappointing with a series of design flaws, high prices, and delays. The US Congress has reduced the number of orders from 32 ships to just three ships, of which the USS Zumwalt and USS Michael Monsoor have entered service, while the USS Lyndon B. Johnson is undergoing post-launch trials.

The US Navy initially intended to use the Zumwalt class to attack coastal targets with the 155 mm Advanced Gun System (AGS). This is the largest cannon built by the US and equipped with ships since World War II, which can fire 10 rounds per minute at targets more than 150 km from the firing position.

However, each long-range guided artillery shell (LRLAP) for the AGS system costs nearly a million dollars, causing the US Navy to abandon its plan to buy ammunition and struggle to find ways to change the weapon configuration for the Zumwalt class. .

The US Navy at the end of 2021 announced that it will convert the Zumwalt-class destroyer to equip the IRCPS medium-range hypersonic missile in 2024. The missile launcher will be installed in the position of the AGS system.

The US Government Audit Office said in September 2020 that each Zumwalt-class ship cost more than $9 billion, including research and development costs, compared with an expected price of $1.3 billion per ship last year. 1998. The agency assessed that the Zumwalt class could only reach full duty capability as early as after 2025.

Vu Anh (Theo Drive)

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