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By the Staff at War is Boring
Congress urging Navy to add hypersonic missiles to issue-plagued Zumwalt class destroyers
Congress has urged the US Navy to begin the process of arming the futuristic and issue-plagued Zumwalt class destroyers with hypersonic cruise missiles, possibly as a way to justify the costs of development and delays associated with the vessels.
The new Conventional Prompt Strike hypersonic missile, which are intended for the upcoming Block V Virginia class submarines and the Ohio class sub fleet, may also be pushed into the Zumwalt line as well- at least if the US House of Representatives has their way.
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According to The Drive, The House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee wants to include the provision to add the Conventional Prompt Strike missiles to the Zumwalt’s armaments, and has made such a request official in the FY2021 NDAA.
“The Secretary [of the Navy] shall initiate such transfer of [Conventional Prompt Strike] technologies to DDG–1000 [Zumwalt] class destroyers by not later than January 1, 2021,” the document read.
The Zumwalt line has been “nerfed” in recent years following a troubled history of development and construction, including adding external accessories that create a larger radar signature.
Resembling a floating homage to brutalist architecture, the Navy originally planned to buy dozens of Zumwalt-class ships, but have since whittled the number down to three.
Should the Zumwalt be tweaked with new hypersonic missiles and better radar cross-section-shrinking technologies, the ship may redeem itself in future conflicts by providing a stealthy platform than can sneak in and launch missiles in critical locations that might otherwise be a suicide mission for conventional surface vessels.