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Questions About The USS Zumwalt

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I have a few questions about the USS Zumwalt. Ever since I saw it in San Diego Harbor at the Naval Base, I wondered quite a few things about it. Well, first off I asked wth is that thing. Since then I have learned that she is made from Carbon Fiber. I wondered to myself, how is a ship made from Carbon Fiber going to hold together in a fight. Also, its a very large ship. How exactly does a 600 foot long ship stay undetected when its that long and misshapen? Also, why did the US navy put so much money into this ship? It is well known that the Gerald R Ford needs some help and a Destroyer usually does not have a huge impact on a battle like a Carrier does. I also heard that there were some problems on her maiden voyage or something? If anyone could fill me in that would be great and also tell me some facts about the USS Zumwalt so I could tell people about her like I'm a genius. Thanks in advance to anyone who responds, thanks.

 

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There would be a strong-enough steel frame within the carbon fiber skin.

As for how it'll hold up in a fight - the USN hasn't built a ship designed to take hits in decades, the Zumwalt is no different.

As for how it stays undetected - ofcourse the mark I eyeball can still see it, but it scatters radar signals, so has a very small or non-existent radr return.

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2 minutes ago, Lert said:

There would be a strong-enough steel frame within the carbon fiber skin.

As for how it'll hold up in a fight - the USN hasn't built a ship designed to take hits in decades, the Zumwalt is no different.

As for how it stays undetected - ofcourse the mark I eyeball can still see it, but it scatters radar signals, so has a very small or non-existent radr return.

When you think about it Lert, most warships today aren't built with armor. Why build an armored ship when a nuclear warhead can easily destroy it, and there's the money down the drain? Save the money to build more of that class.

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The radar signature of the Zumwalt is akin to a 50 ft fishing vessel.

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1 minute ago, Unabletony said:

Save the money to build more of that class.

LBM55wY.gif

Zumwalt ... 'saving money' ... BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

Look, I get what you're saying, but the main reason the US navy (and most other modern ones) haven't built anything with armor is because the current 'meta' is to intercept incoming ordnance before it hits - or preferably, the ship firing said ordnance before it does. Nukes are a last-line deterrent, but even those have a chance of being intercepted before they reach their programmed detonation site.

The main reason that the 'meta' has shifted to intercepting ordnance before it hits instead of building the ship strong enough to survive hits is because the weapons technology advanced to such a point that armoring against it would simply weigh way too much to be viable.

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Thanks for all the responses, but saving money by spending 9 billion for reproach on a destroyer?

The US navy literally has 1000 foot battleships just sitting around waiting to be used and there "saving money"????

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It was supposed to be the lead ship of the next generation of Navy destroyers, with new guns, new propulsion plant.  But now it's trimmed down to just 3 and so the costs of R&D which were to be spread across the entire class (i don't remember how many were supposed to be built when originally envisioned) are now just 3 ships, so it increased the price of the 3 ships.   Also the ammunition fired by the guns are only able to fired from these 3 ships.  So since the Navy doesn't need the ammunition for the entire fleet any more, just 3.  The cost for each bullet is now exceeds the cost of a Tomahawk missile, so the Navy has only decided to buy a total of 90 rounds for the 3 ships, because it can't afford to buy more as those 90 rounds cost more than an Arleigh Burke destroyer.   again R&D costs for the new gun and gun ammunition.

 

The propulsion plant is all electric.    So now the Navy is using the class as a test bed for future warfare technologies.

 

Instead the Navy restarted production of Arleigh Burke destroyers - called Arleigh Burke restart - of which the 3rd one has just been commissioned.

Edited by wtfovr
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US Navy surface warfare strategy-

1. Anything not a CV should dump its entire missile magazine as quickly as possible to intercept anything headed for CV.

2. 90 seconds later, please proceed to point between CV and incoming ordinance and activate meatshield mode. 

3. Profit

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1 hour ago, Lert said:

LBM55wY.gif

Zumwalt ... 'saving money' ... BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

Look, I get what you're saying, but the main reason the US navy (and most other modern ones) haven't built anything with armor is because the current 'meta' is to intercept incoming ordnance before it hits - or preferably, the ship firing said ordnance before it does. Nukes are a last-line deterrent, but even those have a chance of being intercepted before they reach their programmed detonation site.

The main reason that the 'meta' has shifted to intercepting ordnance before it hits instead of building the ship strong enough to survive hits is because the weapons technology advanced to such a point that armoring against it would simply weigh way too much to be viable.

I see. Corrected by Lert :3

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1 hour ago, Razzopper said:

US Navy surface warfare strategy-

1. Anything not a CV should dump its entire missile magazine as quickly as possible to intercept anything headed for CV.

2. 90 seconds later, please proceed to point between CV and incoming ordinance and activate meatshield mode. 

3. Profit

Pretty much sums it all up. The US used Ferrocement ships in WWII as "meat shields" , ammo supplier's and towards the end even as food suppliers. They wanted to build more ships and Ferrocement was a viable option.

 

The SS Faith was the first Ferrocement ship built in the United States. 

 

Soon after launch in 1918...

ss_faith_completed-640x587.jpg.86e5c4b713aa7f8a1ec082ea1d141e69.jpg

They used such ships in many operations and landings too such as the Normanday D-Day landings.

Edited by Silver_kun

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Well, the Zumwalt class was supposed to be badass gunships to replace the shore support provided by the Iowas et al.  Low radar signatures would let them get in close to shore in a hostile environment.  But while allowing new gun and stealth technologies they also let the eggheads install every newfangled technology that DARPA etc. could come up with.  Then someone said, "Hey, this is gonna cost a pile!"  Then they said, "We can't afford to build 30(?) of these, so we'll build only three."  Then all the development costs (that aren't reduced by quantity) were shoved onto those three ships.  Then they said, "These development costs are going to make the super-duper rounds for these guns cost $800,000 each."  So they cancelled the super-duper rounds, leaving the guns nothing special (so far) and obviating the original purpose of a gunfire support platform.

Three ships aren't going to matter to warfighting since three ships equates to one ship at sea.

But the ships do have value.  The way to look at it is, these are superb (albeit outrageously expensive) technology demonstrators, and much of the development cost of these new technologies is now sunk.  Expect to see all-electric propulsion, tumblehome hulls, and stealth in much cheaper future platforms.

 

(Unfortunately, we may have done the work so the Chinese can benefit from it, too.)

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On 11/18/2017 at 3:11 PM, Unabletony said:

When you think about it Lert, most warships today aren't built with armor. Why build an armored ship when a nuclear warhead can easily destroy it, and there's the money down the drain? Save the money to build more of that class.

Nuclear weapons are extremely terrible weapons to use if you're trying to sink ships, you had BBs literally riding the explosion plume of the water being sucked upward and fall back down no worse for wear.

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On 11/18/2017 at 3:16 PM, Lert said:

The main reason that the 'meta' has shifted to intercepting ordnance before it hits instead of building the ship strong enough to survive hits is because the weapons technology advanced to such a point that armoring against it would simply weigh way too much to be viable.

Incorrect, ships shed their armor because at the time you would never have a hope of intercepting enough of an incoming wave of attacks to stay afloat. So now warheads on ASMs and torpedoes are different and are completely ineffectual against Battleship grade armor plating. That combined with interception and decoy technology having matured, rearmoring would actually be a smart idea.

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There is actually a missile with an AP warhead, with shaped charges and fragmentation so when the missile, when penetrated, directs all its energy towards the "citadel" of the ship.  Its a supersonic ramjet missile that travels up to Mach 3 on sea skimming altitudes, and weighs over 3000 lbs, which makes it weigh more than a 16" shell but with a much higher striking velocity.   It also does high G random weaves towards its target, making interception difficult.   Known as the Hsiung Feng III, Taiwan fields it all over the island in mobile TELs, making preemptive strikes against them difficult.  The missile is also used on their stealth corvettes.    This missile looks to me, it can penetrate an armored ship and do serious damage.  

 

Mk 48 torpedoes, like modern torpedoes, are designed to blow beneath the ship, not against the ship's "belt", and the resulting explosion will break the keel.  

 

Even if countermeasure technologies are maturing, so are decoy and spoof resistant guidance systems.

 

Electronic countermeasures and spoofs work together with stealth.  The reason for this, if you have a stealthy design, the radar returns from it are going to be much weaker, and hence easier to spoof.  On a non stealthy ship, the radar returns are going to much stronger by magnitudes, and the work to spoof these signals will be much harder.  What spoofing does is reduce the catch basket of the missile seeker, so against a stealthy ship, the lock on will have to be at a much shorter distance than a non stealthy ship, and that gives a significant advantage in survivability.

 

In short, today's "armor" isn't a physical one, but rather your "stealth" armor.

 

Carbon fiber doesn't reflect radar much, unlike metal.  Hence its a strong consideration for constructing stealthy objects.  Furthermore, it is very strong, not very likely to corrode and to fragment.    It is also very light.  The more structural weight you can save on a ship, the more weight you can dedicate on war fighting material on a ship.

 

Still, if radar goes through carbon fiber, sooner or later it will hit something inside the ship that will reflect radar.  So you would need some steel inside to block the radar and deflect it away in a direction away from the expecting receiver.  This is why modern warships have angular, trapezoidal shapes.  You want to eliminate all 90 degree corner reflections (the side of the hull intersecting the surface of the water is also a 90 degree corner) that increase radar signature by focusing them.    This is also why modern warships are going into integrated masts and covering their radars with radomes, as the friendly radar antenna itself can reflect radar signals back to an opposing radar.  

 

World of Warships has a gross oversimplification of the stealth 'meta' through its system of detection signatures, yet nonetheless rams the whole point of the very importance of stealth in ships.  

 

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Still an impressive warship but a lot of features have been cut back on over the years. Originally they were going to build 32 of the things and with each having 2x 155mm AGS plus a mix of subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles they would provide all of the naval fire support needed, replacing the modernized Iowa class battleships in this role. But as is typical they kept cutting numbers all the way down to a mere 3 ships which makes for an insane per-unit cost since all of the new technology still has to be developed.

 

On one hand they'll be great test beds for a lot of new system. On the other hand a mere 3 ships can't fulfill that naval gunfire support requirement, there is little incentive to develop larger missiles to take advantage of the larger VLS cells, and it may be quite some time before they're fully capable.

 

I do have my concerns about the hull design but hopefully there won't be any serious problems there.

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6 hours ago, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

Still an impressive warship but a lot of features have been cut back on over the years. Originally they were going to build 32 of the things and with each having 2x 155mm AGS plus a mix of subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles they would provide all of the naval fire support needed, replacing the modernized Iowa class battleships in this role. But as is typical they kept cutting numbers all the way down to a mere 3 ships which makes for an insane per-unit cost since all of the new technology still has to be developed.

 

On one hand they'll be great test beds for a lot of new system. On the other hand a mere 3 ships can't fulfill that naval gunfire support requirement, there is little incentive to develop larger missiles to take advantage of the larger VLS cells, and it may be quite some time before they're fully capable.

 

I do have my concerns about the hull design but hopefully there won't be any serious problems there.

The 90s were not good to the US Military. We basically coasted for over 10 years in technology and with how technology disseminates to the larger whole in humanity and how it exponentially increases as it goes, the US overwhelming advantage in technology quickly disappeared.

 

6 hours ago, Eisennagel said:

There is actually a missile with an AP warhead, with shaped charges and fragmentation so when the missile, when penetrated, directs all its energy towards the "citadel" of the ship.  Its a supersonic ramjet missile that travels up to Mach 3 on sea skimming altitudes, and weighs over 3000 lbs, which makes it weigh more than a 16" shell but with a much higher striking velocity.   It also does high G random weaves towards its target, making interception difficult.   Known as the Hsiung Feng III, Taiwan fields it all over the island in mobile TELs, making preemptive strikes against them difficult.  The missile is also used on their stealth corvettes.    This missile looks to me, it can penetrate an armored ship and do serious damage.  

Mk 48 torpedoes, like modern torpedoes, are designed to blow beneath the ship, not against the ship's "belt", and the resulting explosion will break the keel.  

Even if countermeasure technologies are maturing, so are decoy and spoof resistant guidance systems.

There is no such thing as "random" evasive weaves for ASMs, they have an assortment of pre-programmed weaves that the computer will choose on approach, resulting in exploitable weakness if the enemy can discover them through experience or spying. It still depends on saturation attacks to get through to the target. Do not confuse weight for density, I'd rather get hit by your flimsy fat ASM then a armor piercing round that weighs 300 pounds less but put's it all in a much smaller and denser slug of steel.

Mark 48s have never been fired against ships with actual citadel armoring schemes or any modern torpedo for that matter. The Iowas were specifically designed to resist any type of torpedo strike through more then just it's armoring.

The advantage is always to the defender unless the defender is completely unaware. And even then, ASMs have shown to be extremely lack-luster in performance, see the USS Stark incident where a completely oblivious frigate got smucked by two of the most advanced ASMs at the time and suffered no more then superficial damage to it's warfighting capabilities.

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2 hours ago, TornadoADV said:

The 90s were not good to the US Military. We basically coasted for over 10 years in technology and with how technology disseminates to the larger whole in humanity and how it exponentially increases as it goes, the US overwhelming advantage in technology quickly disappeared.

 

There is no such thing as "random" evasive weaves for ASMs, they have an assortment of pre-programmed weaves that the computer will choose on approach, resulting in exploitable weakness if the enemy can discover them through experience or spying. It still depends on saturation attacks to get through to the target. Do not confuse weight for density, I'd rather get hit by your flimsy fat ASM then a armor piercing round that weighs 300 pounds less but put's it all in a much smaller and denser slug of steel.

Mark 48s have never been fired against ships with actual citadel armoring schemes or any modern torpedo for that matter. The Iowas were specifically designed to resist any type of torpedo strike through more then just it's armoring.

The advantage is always to the defender unless the defender is completely unaware. And even then, ASMs have shown to be extremely lack-luster in performance, see the USS Stark incident where a completely oblivious frigate got smucked by two of the most advanced ASMs at the time and suffered no more then superficial damage to it's warfighting capabilities.

 

If you have an assortment of weaves, which of the weave chosen can be random, and it does not need to perform that weave throughout its final flight, since at some point, the computer can select again another weave from the assortment.  The result is a combination of weaves that is selected each stage by the computer, and the potential combinations can rise astronomically.   The computer can constantly change the weave as a response on what's being received by the missile's own radar receiver.  A radar fire controlled gun, or an interceptor missile that is radar guided, will have tell tale signature by their own radars that the missile's receiver and computer can ID as a warning that the missile is about to be shot at or collided upon.  

 

You know, I would take shaped charges any day over an armor piercing warhead.  Pure AP heads don't do squat against heavily compartmentalized defenses that act like spaced armor.

 

Modern torpedoes are not aimed at the belt of the ship; they are meant to explode right underneath the ship.  

Edited by Eisennagel
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On 11/18/2017 at 5:11 PM, Unabletony said:

When you think about it Lert, most warships today aren't built with armor. Why build an armored ship when a nuclear warhead can easily destroy it, and there's the money down the drain? Save the money to build more of that class.

Nuclear warheads are not even close to the main enemy of a naval ship, if nuclear weapons are thrown, the world is basically over at that point. 

 

Armor can indeed protect against missiles and gunfire however, it cannot protect the ship from getting broken in two or having it's keel snapped by a heavyweight torpedo, hence why armor has fallen out of use. 

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2 hours ago, TornadoADV said:

The 90s were not good to the US Military. We basically coasted for over 10 years in technology and with how technology disseminates to the larger whole in humanity and how it exponentially increases as it goes, the US overwhelming advantage in technology quickly disappeared.

 

There is no such thing as "random" evasive weaves for ASMs, they have an assortment of pre-programmed weaves that the computer will choose on approach, resulting in exploitable weakness if the enemy can discover them through experience or spying. It still depends on saturation attacks to get through to the target. Do not confuse weight for density, I'd rather get hit by your flimsy fat ASM then a armor piercing round that weighs 300 pounds less but put's it all in a much smaller and denser slug of steel.

Mark 48s have never been fired against ships with actual citadel armoring schemes or any modern torpedo for that matter. The Iowas were specifically designed to resist any type of torpedo strike through more then just it's armoring.

The advantage is always to the defender unless the defender is completely unaware. And even then, ASMs have shown to be extremely lack-luster in performance, see the USS Stark incident where a completely oblivious frigate got smucked by two of the most advanced ASMs at the time and suffered no more then superficial damage to it's warfighting capabilities.

 

Torpedoes and aircraft are what made battleships obsolete, a modern torpedo such as the Mark 48 would likely do heavy damage to or cripple an Iowa, just like any modern ship.

 

Let me remind you that while the Iowa class did not have bad torpedo protection, it also didn't have great torpedo protection either. The Mark 48 has a roughly 1,200 lbs warhead compared to the 1,080 lbs warhead carried by the Type 93 Long Lance. So imagine a Long Lance, a weapon already feared by the Americans, beefed up and given a very accurate modern guidance system. 

 

I doubt an Iowa would do any better against a torpedo that explodes under the ship, making all of her TDS completely irrelevant. 

 

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3 hours ago, xX_Critical_ClopOut69_Xx said:

 

Torpedoes and aircraft are what made battleships obsolete, a modern torpedo such as the Mark 48 would likely do heavy damage to or cripple an Iowa, just like any modern ship.

 

Let me remind you that while the Iowa class did not have bad torpedo protection, it also didn't have great torpedo protection either. The Mark 48 has a roughly 1,200 lbs warhead compared to the 1,080 lbs warhead carried by the Type 93 Long Lance. So imagine a Long Lance, a weapon already feared by the Americans, beefed up and given a very accurate modern guidance system. 

 

I doubt an Iowa would do any better against a torpedo that explodes under the ship, making all of her TDS completely irrelevant. 

 

Lack of effective aerial defenses is what made battleships obsolete...

Any modern counter measure that makes destroyers the size of WWII cruisers viable, can make a battleship sized vessel viable, especially since the CVNs have the same dangers.

 

as far as I am concerned no missile or weapon justifies leaving a blue water warship vulnerable to intermediate caliber rifle fire. A ship shouldn’t be scared of taking a hit from a speed boat with an LMG and an RPG...hell a DDG or CG shouldn’t be vulnerable to 20 or 30mm guns (with exception of glass and sensors) in my opinion at least 

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10 hours ago, xX_Critical_ClopOut69_Xx said:

 

Torpedoes and aircraft are what made battleships obsolete, a modern torpedo such as the Mark 48 would likely do heavy damage to or cripple an Iowa, just like any modern ship.

 

Let me remind you that while the Iowa class did not have bad torpedo protection, it also didn't have great torpedo protection either. The Mark 48 has a roughly 1,200 lbs warhead compared to the 1,080 lbs warhead carried by the Type 93 Long Lance. So imagine a Long Lance, a weapon already feared by the Americans, beefed up and given a very accurate modern guidance system. 

 

I doubt an Iowa would do any better against a torpedo that explodes under the ship, making all of her TDS completely irrelevant. 

 

You're not going to snap the keel off a ship with an all or nothing citadel. That's the entire damn purpose of stuffing all the machinery and ammuntion spaces into the central area of the ship and then wrapping it in feets worth of STS and Armor steel. Her primary bulkheads along the outside of the ship were canted inward so when struck by a high pressure wave, it would deflect back out against where it came rather then deeper into the ship. I say again, the Citadel of the Iowa is literally a ship inside a ship, you can sheer off both the stern and the bow of her and she'll retain all her fighting effectiveness even though she could no longer move.

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6 hours ago, JohnPJones said:

as far as I am concerned no missile or weapon justifies leaving a blue water warship vulnerable to intermediate caliber rifle fire. A ship shouldn’t be scared of taking a hit from a speed boat with an LMG and an RPG...hell a DDG or CG shouldn’t be vulnerable to 20 or 30mm guns (with exception of glass and sensors) in my opinion at least 

The funny thing is, it would require almost no armoring to make ships immune to autocannon, much less 76mm fire, but nobody is willing to put even the slightest effort to put a 100mm sheath of steel on their hulls anymore.

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Judging by the LCSs, speed is everything nowadays.  >armor -> <speed.  (though properly, >armor -> <acceleration)

What I find odd is that I haven't seen this topic addressed in the professional literature, other than comments questioning the unnecessarily high speed of the LCSs.

 

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2 hours ago, iDuckman said:

Judging by the LCSs, speed is everything nowadays.  >armor -> <speed.  (though properly, >armor -> <acceleration)

What I find odd is that I haven't seen this topic addressed in the professional literature, other than comments questioning the unnecessarily high speed of the LCSs.

 

speed is important, but lets face it the LCSes are glorified corvettes at best.
and being littoral going in between islands fast to respond to fast moving threats would be important, but if i'm not mistaken the LCS manufacturers are sacrificing quite a bit of speed in their upsized frigate proposals, so on a true blue water ship in the USN speed is only important in that the ship can effectively operate within the CBG.

remember a lot of what the LCS ships were really designed to do was deal with corvettes, FACs and FIACs, which a lot of corvettes are in the 35+ kt range of speeds if i'm not mistaken, as are a lot of FACs/FIACs

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3 hours ago, TornadoADV said:

The funny thing is, it would require almost no armoring to make ships immune to autocannon, much less 76mm fire, but nobody is willing to put even the slightest effort to put a 100mm sheath of steel on their hulls anymore.

i think we'd be asking a lot for a ship to be armored to counter a 57mm gun to be honest, but defeating up to 30mm guns should not be that much to ask. a DDG should not have to worry about being holed by maritime technicals, except in very few places...a DDG should be able to rush and 'tank' against such threats to allow for the smaller caliber naval guns like mk38 and phalanx to get into the fight along side the 5" and really disperse an swarm, but as it stands anything but blasting KEET and moving away at speed would likely end up in significant damage to a DDG facing a FIAC swarm of 8 or more small craft. damage that would probably require several weeks in port to fix.

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