U.S. Navy's Newest Warship Has No Ammunition for Its Big Guns

USS Zumwalt docked in Baltimore, Oct. 2016 / AP
November 7, 2016

The U.S. Navy is slated to cancel the projectiles for the two big guns that outfit its newest and most advanced warship due to excessive costs that total an estimated $800,000 per round.

The Long Range Land-Attack Projectile, or LRLAP, is the only guided precision ammunition designed to be fired by the USS Zumwalt, a land-attack destroyer that was created to hold two 155 millimeter/62-caliber Advanced Gun Systems that could, according to defense contractor Lockheed Martin, "defeat targets in the urban canyons of coastal cities with minimal collateral damage," Defense News reported.

The announcement comes just two weeks after the U.S. Navy commissioned the warship.

A Navy official familiar with the program said that the LRLAP's unit price skyrocketed after the number of Zumwalt class destroyers was cut from 28 to three.

"We were going to buy thousands of these rounds," a U.S. Navy official familiar with the program told Defense News. "But quantities of ships killed the affordable round."

The official said no significant performance issues were to blame for the cancellation of the projectiles.

"We don't have an issue with the gun, and no issue with that ship carrying the gun. We have an issue on the price point," the official said. "The round was working, the way forward was logical. It's just that the cost with a three-ship buy became a very high cost."

The U.S. Navy has not yet publicly confirmed the cancellation of the LRLAP.

Published under: Military , Navy