Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Navy is signaling that the Zumwalt will be the long hoped for "arsenal ship"...

via Defense News.
The Navy sidelined the guns after the service truncated the buy to just three ships, and after the ammunition, called the Long-Range Land-Attack Projectile, ballooned in price to more than $800,000 per round.

"The guns are in layup,” Smith said. “We're waiting for that bullet to come around that will give us the most range possible. But given that that is offensive surface strike, we're going to look at other capabilities potentially that we could use in that volume.”

The ships shifted missions from land attack to ship-hunting and -killing last year. The Navy is integrating the SM-6 missile, which has a surface-attack mode, and are integrating the maritime strike Tomahawk to fill out the new capabilities.
Story here. 

Ok.  I admit there is alot of speculation going on in the headline but it seems pretty clear.

1.  Land attack is no longer considered primary.  That's understandable.  The sea fight must be won before you're landing Marines...or at least being equaling contested.

2.  Ship killing by ships is back in style.  The article talked about a shift from land attack to ship killing and with the removal of the guns you're talking about alot of real estate to stack VLS onboard.

I won't even dare try and count the number of missiles these ships could carry if the above is true but I would bet if they decided to turn the Zumwalt's into ship killing arsenal ships that could free up the Burkes to concentrate on pure air defense.  That alone would be huge.  Toss in some frigates that could play the swing role between being superb anti-sub platforms to being able to pitch in with regard to anti-surface/anti-air and I think we're starting to see something.

Of course that makes the Zumwalt's priority targets but the same applies to all our battleship class ships (Zumwalt/Burke) and aircraft carriers.

I guess the only question is how do you distribute such a small class doing such an important role?

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