Zumwalt to trade the ‘revolutionary’ cannons for hypersonic missiles

The US torpedo destroyer USS Zumwalt arrived at Ingalls Shipyard Saturday for a major overhaul. It should be capable of launching hypersonic missiles within a year.

Over the years, the three Zumwalt-class ships have been watched with great interest in the United States and abroad. Their distinctive design, high cost, advanced systems, and, of course, amazing plot twists have attracted considerable attention. One of the most notable changes in the program is the 155mm guns associated with this refit. These were intended to achieve long-range, highly accurate targeting at low cost. However, the latter goal was not achieved, with each round costing the equivalent of one Tomahawk cruise missile.

It was therefore decided that in the spring of 2022, all 155mm guns on board the ship would be replaced by another new system: hypersonic missiles. As a result, on Saturday Zumwalt arrived in Pascagoula at Ingalls Shipyard to modernize the system and “integrate the conventional prompt strike weapon system,” the U.S. Navy announced to USNI News.

Zumwalt will receive three launch cells instead of two cannons, each with four Common Hypersonic Glide Bodies (C-HGB).

Plans call for the missile to be ready for launch in 2025. However, the Government Accountability Office, the equivalent of the U.S. General Accounting Office, has been critical of the plan. The U.S. Navy is striving both to keep up with Russian and Chinese hypersonic developments and to create added value for its three destroyers. However, the Government Accountability Office has noted that the integration may be delayed because hypersonic weapons are not yet fully developed.

In addition to Zumwalt, two other destroyers will be adapted to hypersonic weapons. This will be done during the regular maintenance period. This will include significant modifications to the front section of the ship.
The new weapons should enable the ships to strike long-range, critical targets in a short time, reaching a range of 2,800 km.

About the author: Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson is a seasoned cybersecurity analyst with over a decade of experience in deciphering digital threats and vulnerabilities.

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