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Zumwalt-class destroyers begin surface-strike platform transformation

17th October 2023 - 07:11 GMT | by Tim Fish in Auckland

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At 190m-long and displacing some 15,500 tons, the Zumwalt-class was originally designed as a land attack support platform using a 155mm gun system to provide gunfire support for forces ashore. Now it has a new role as an surface-strike platform fitted with a host of anti-ship and land-attack missiles. (Photo: HII)

Work has begun on modifying the US Navy’s three Zumwalt-class destroyers to host hypersonic missiles offering the service improved surface-attack capability.

The US Navy's decision to host hypersonic missiles on the Zumwalt-class (DDG 1000) destroyers has marked a significant turnaround in the future of destroyers, which were cut back following huge cost increases, delays developing critical technologies – including its new 155mm Advanced Gun System (AGS) – and the failure to find a suitable role for the vessels.

The goalposts have also moved in terms of delivering a new level of offensive firepower from the sea that rivals cannot currently match. 

The US Navy contract award to Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipyard (HII-Ingalls), valued at US$154.8 million on 29 August 2023, will see the first-in-class USS

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Tim Fish

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Tim Fish


Tim Fish is a special correspondent for Shephard Media. Formerly the editor of Land Warfare …

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