November 8, 2016

Zumwalt unlikely to fire its "golden" LRLAP Rounds - Agent Igor Reports


Above is a 5-inch Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM) [A]. The ERGM Program was prudently terminated by the US in 2008. But earlier, in 2005, the US imprudently commenced an ERGM replacement program (known as the 6-inch Long Range Land-Attack Projectile (LRLAP). Now (in 2016) the LRLAP may be history.

(VLADIVOSTOCK) This weeks’ Zumwalt-class,  LRLAP naval gun, $800,000 per round fiasco, has triggered vodka soaked rejoicing in Mother Russia. Agent “Igor” [B] confidentially reports Russia has cancelled its own decade long Long Range Land-Attack Projectile (LRLAP)-ski program on the strength of this latest capitalist balls-up. 

Decades after the US:

1.  developed precision guided-missile-destroyers, and 

2.  phased out effective large Iowa-class (16-inch, 406 mm) guns and completed since WWII heavy
     cruisers' 8-inch (203 mm) guns.

The US chose to throw many $Billions at:

3.  precision guided shells, and 

4.  extremely specialised, high risk, new technology, guns and special Zumwalt destroyer electrical
     systems, to fire them. 

Confirming an alternate reality planning approach, the "Advanced" Gun System on the Zumwalt [C] class destroyers is only designed to fire LRLAP shells. The fewer the Zumwalts (declining from 28 planned to 3) the higher the unit cost of the LRLAPs. 

The cost of one LRLAP Round (after all) is influenced by:

1.  huge research costs

2.  high, limited quantity, production costs

3.  high electronics handling and maintenance costs (compared to "dumb" rounds) when in ship's

4.  all inflated by the political package of Zumwalt+gun+LRLAP being "too big to fail".

The Zumwalt, in 2018, is likely to be commissioned with no ammunition for its $Billion dollar guns. 


[A]  Regarding naval shore bombardment ops The ERGM/LRLAP Fraud.

[B]  Igor's secret source details.

[C]  In a rare posthumous move Admiral Elmo Zumwalt has distanced himself from LRLAP lapping.

* This report has been provided to long suffering Program Managers' FYBSEO
   (for your bloodshot eyes only).



Anonymous said...

There is a opportunity Igor missed to mention:

The English Wiki tries to hide the capabilities of these gun with "Vulcano" ammunition but there is a link at the end of the article.
Range: 100 km

The US Navy may opt for this canon like they already use the smaller version:

The advantage of capitalism: just change the dealer.

The disadvantage of protectionism: the US may stay with an US gun system. - May I mention AN/BYG for Australian submarines as a bad example? Gas turbines for tanks in dusty environment...


Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

You present good alternatives to the Zumwalt 6-inch rail-gun.

I would say the US should replace its Zumwalt class "Advanced Gun System" rail-gun

with an 8-inch gun - of long range and can conduct shore bombardment at a cost efficient price.

Looks like the US Navy are happy with their existing 5-inch gun (used on Arleigh Burke-class destroyers), ie. the 5-inch/54 caliber (Mk 45) lightweight gun is a modern U.S. naval artillery gun mount consisting of a 127 mm (5 in) L54 Mark 19 gun on the Mark 45 mount.[1]
- see

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era:

- 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun: contemporary standard naval gun for British ships

- French 100 mm naval gun: contemporary standard naval gun for French ships

- Otobreda 127/54 Compact and Otobreda 127/64: contemporary 127 mm naval gun from Italian manufacturer Oto Melara

- or the Otobreda 127/64 as you suggest

AN/BYG? Does Germany's Atlas Elektroniks feel frustrated?



Anonymous said...

Dear Pete,
I just shaked my head about the system decision as I did this morning about the next US President. The first decision will not be the end of the world.

I have no ties to Atlas Elektroniks but I estimate that there was little hope for their system at an Australian submarine (except a Lockmark label calling it AN/BYG).

As an Australian taxpayer I would be frustrated.

The point about the gun is the US can buy other guns. Russia cannot.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 9/11/16 9:45 PM]

Yes I fear the Zumwalt decline in envisioned units (guns, shells and all) from 28 to 3 is due to "Too Big To Fail".

Australia has been forced by the US to buy 72+ F-35s. With F-35 numbers dropping perhaps from 4,000 to perhaps 500 (like the F-111 that Australia bought way back) Australia will pay considerably more for each F-35 than if we'd bought the vastly superior, proven, F-22.

Under Trump the AN/BYG-1 combat system may retain the inflated price but Trump's America First policy imperitives may deliver only half the secret US software expected.



Josh said...

The Zumwalt is an even bigger tragedy than the LCS, though luckily in the case of the Zummer it was actually ended in favor of more Burkes. Naval gun fire is a useless requirement shoveled on top of the US budget like so many other useless USMC requirements - STOVL a/c in an environment where CATOBAR and land based a/c are prolific, tilt rotor when regular medium lift helos would do, and the skimming brick that was the AAAV before it was cancelled. The USMC went from being the organization that did more with less to the organization that had ridiculous requirements and budget sinks for imaginary warfare that the US would never commit marines too. A low RCS destroyer shouldn't even bother with a gun, and it certainly shouldn't be designed around a new one (or two). Eventually even the US won't be able to afford mistakes like this. Indeed, its fair to say that we crossed that rubicon last night.


MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,
the problem is Australia already has swallowed several big pieces and has nothing left to deal with the next US President.

Due to the very early decision to rely on AN/BYG-1 combat system Australia has nothing to trade.


P.S.: Australia was not forced to buy the F-35. I would rather say some Australian President was somehow convinced. Other nations allied with the US did not buy the F-35 or are not convinced any more (Canada).

Peter Coates said...

Hi Josh

Yes the US Marine Corps (USMC) in some respects, seems to have too great an interest in expensive solutions like the USAF and USN have been for 2 decades.

Although it must be said that in low level warfare and natural disasters the USMC's amphibious ships and helicopters are highly relevant and useful. Australia with the 2 Canberra class LHDs is going in the USMC ship/helicopter/landing craft direction.

I've left out the mighty US Army, where my connections are/have been strongest.

I lived on a huge US Army Base, Fort Hood, Texas for 2 years in the 1970s, and was deeply impressed. The 300 helicopter "Air Mobile" First Cavalry Division were based there.



Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [10/11/16 8:06 AM]

In terms of "Australia being forced to buy the F-35" I've written that because continuing US conventional and nuclear protection demands Australia make constant concessions to the US and pay the ANZUS alliance insurance premiums.

Australia has no "President"

Canada is in a totally different strategic position to isolated Australia. Canada is a neighbour of the US in North America. The defense of the US demands powerful US military investments (eg. NORAD) in Canada. Canada sits in between the two US large properties, ie. the 48 Continental US States and Alaska to the north.

Still, like Australia Canada seems to be buying Super Hornets ,

After that Canada has still left F-35 buying options open.