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Advanced Gun System holding back Navy’s stealth destroyer

 

Development issues with the Navy’s Advanced Gun System, destined to be one of the main armaments of DDG-1000, prompted the Navy to change Zumwalt into a ship killer, the Navy’s top requirements officers said Tuesday.

The Navy announced in February in budget justification documents that it intended to integrate Raytheon’s SM-6 missile and was changing the mission from a land-attack platform to a ship killer.

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee, Vice Adm. Bill Merz told senators that the slow development of the AGS prompted the change.

The AGS, in conjunction with the Long-Range Land Attack Projectile, was supposed to fire a round more than 80 nautical miles. The Navy canceled the projectile after truncating the total Zumwalt-class buy to three ships pushed the cost per round up to more than $800,000 per round. Furthermore, the system was also failing to achieve the range it wanted out of the system, Merz said.

“Even at the high cost, we still weren’t really getting what we had asked for,” he said. “So what we’ve elected to do is to separate the gun effort from the ship effort because we really got to the point where now we’re holding up the ship.”

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