Skip to comments.New U.S. DD(X) destroyer sails ahead
Posted on 11/23/2005 3:10:05 PM PST by Pharmboy
The deckhouse of an experimental naval destroyer, the DD
(X), pictured here at China Lake, California in an undated photo.
The Pentagon has opted to move ahead with the new multibillion-
dollar destroyer being co-developed by Northrop Grumman Corp. and
General Dynamics, Navy officials said on Wednesday.
The Pentagon will order an initial eight highly-automated DD(X) destroyers being developed by Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC - news) and General Dynamics (NYSE:GD - news) as the centerpiece of the U.S. Navy's 21st century fleet, a defense official said on Wednesday.
Ending speculation the ship might be killed, the Defense Department cleared a plan to let both Los Angeles-based Northrop and General Dynamics, Falls Church, Virginia, each go ahead with detailed design work, the Pentagon said.
The chief U.S. weapons buyer, Kenneth Krieg, also approved "low rate initial production" of eight ships after a meeting on Tuesday of the Defense Acquisition Board, which considers major weapons systems, said the defense official who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak about the matter.
He estimated the value of the eight ships at $20 billion.
The DD(X) will have substantially lower radar and acoustic "signatures" -- making it harder for an enemy to find and hit -- and be highly automated to cut crew size by more than half compared with current destroyer levels.
It will incorporate new technologies that also would be used in a new aircraft carrier and a new cruiser. The Navy hopes the first DD(X) will be delivered in 2012.
Cheryl Irwin, a Pentagon spokeswoman, confirmed that Krieg had cleared the program to enter a big-money phase known as "system development and demonstration." But she said she had no information on the number of ships to be built.
No construction contracts would be awarded until a further session of the acquisition board, the defense official said, citing a memorandum from Krieg that was not made public.
TWIN BUILDING PROJECTS
Navy officials said Krieg had cleared a Navy request to start the acquisition program with a "dual lead ship" strategy using fiscal 2007 funds.
According to this Northrop and General Dynamics each will build a ship of its own to meet requirements set by the Pentagon and the Navy, Navy spokesman Lt. John Gay said. On completion, the Navy will recommend whether to continue splitting the construction or go with one of the two yards.
Such a decision may be made in 2008 or 2009, said the defense official. Each of the two initial ships to be built -- one by each yard -- is projected to cost $3.3 billion. The Navy hopes to drive down the price of future ships to $2.2 billion.
Krieg gave the go-ahead after a "Milestone B" review -- the decision on whether to let DD(X) advance despite expected delays or cuts in other big-ticket weapons programs as the United States copes with war costs, a growing deficit and hurricane relief, among other headaches.
Key senators had blocked the Navy's earlier-proposed "winner-take-all" approach to building DD(X), which it said would cost less, on the ground it likely would knock the losing company out of the business of building surface warships.
The Pentagon's DD(X) decision "takes us through a critical threshold," said Randy Belote, a spokesman for Northrop, which would build its version of the ship at its Pascagoula, Mississippi, shipyard.
General Dynamics, which would build at its Bath Iron Works yard in Bath, Maine, had no immediate comment.
Northrop shares fell 16 cents on Wednesday to close at $56.49 on the New York Stock Exchange. General Dynamics's shares rose 2 cents to $116.16.
If this ship lives up to its billing, its going to be "superfreaky", like the F117 was to aircraft. This thing will be a new and unique design which will make it very stealthy and also use rail-guns.
Ooooh...oooooh...rail guns. I wish they'd let me have one here in NJ.
That will be Superfreaky!
Excellent. We're going to need to strengthen the fleet for the day when we go at it against the Chinaman.
More Carriers, more Submarines, more Surface Combatants.
Nothing brings a bigger smile to my face than the thought of a thousand burning Chinese ships floating to the bottom, full of trapped and dying heathens made aware, at the last moment, of the true price of challenging American power.
Admittedly, I almost prefer the idea of Japan kicking China's ass alongside the United States, simply for the added irony.
My question is this...." What did Hurricane Katrina do to the ship yards in mississippi?" can they build a ship there?
It'd be sweet if she could submerge.
I've always wondered how hard it would be to build an aircraft carrier that could submerge. Imagine the looks on the enemy's face...
...not to mention the looks on the pilot's face as he tries to land. LOL!
Nuclear subs would be cheaper. Just slap a 6" gun on the deck like the WWII boats.
Why do that? If the Chinese ever tried a large scale invasion across the Pacific, tactical nukes would be a far more efficient way to stop their fleet. In the middle of the ocean you also don't have to worry about pesky fallout and lingering radiation after the fact.
Ships like this should only be a second line of defense, to take down the few lucky ships that make it though our nuclear barrage unscathed.
From the March 20, 2005 Honolulu Star-Bulletin:
You took the picture right outta my head! :)
I don't like the Bow it looks like it would plow and dig in to the waves
Currently they are planning on a two gun mounts using
155mm LRRAP(long range rocket assisted projectile).
Range is expected to be 100NM for the first generation land attack round.
ships floating to the bottom
" The vessel's two 155mm guns will be able to fire up to 100 nautical miles at a sustained rate of 12 rounds per minute. "
The Navy hopes to drive down the price of future ships to $2.2 billion.
I don't think they'd have any trouble getting them quite a
bit below that if they ordered a thousand of them...
Musta been some southron boys designed that.
The navy used to have a pair of them.
Wow! I never heard about those.
Leave it to the Japanese.
You are forgetting about Naval Gunfire Support for land forces.
After all something has to replace the Battleships.
Heck, we did that already - a long time ago! Here she was in all her glory, preparing to recover 2 of her aircraft:
More info here.
And for all you Freudian Freepers, the image of hangaring an airship like the Macon beats the stuffing out of the tired 'train into tunnel' imagery - at least for me ...
Steely-eyed Killers of the Deep PING
Across the Pacific?
I'm thinking more of this happening in the South China Sea, the Straits for Formosa, or the Sea of Japan.
They have cut the rate of fire to 10 rds/min.
However with the wide variety of projectiles available
the kill capability has greatly increased.
They likely have already stollen the design or paid the Democratic party for it.
That thing is going to look pretty snazzy on Periviz.
The Navy certainly needs next generation firepower but I think the DDX is $20B of "winning the last war technology." The next war between two technical nations will be won by the side that masters the battlespace with thousands of unmanned drone weapons, both sea and airborne. If I were taking bets on this Death Star from Pascagoula vs 300 inbound stealthy drones, I'd bet on the drones.
If you take China for the next contender (another good bet) there are a lot of things pointing towards this type of warfare. The US and Israel have proven drone technology in battle, including low cost ultra-small drones. It has been our method to use them in individually and in small numbers, but think of the evolution of air warfare from the solo dogfights of 1914 to the 1000 planes bomber masses of 1944. The war in Iraq has shown the continued vulnerability of conventional weapons and tactics to asymmetrical attack. China has massive manufacturing capability with increasingly high technology. Should they put their mind to it they would have no problem producing drowns in the hundreds of thousands. Anyone familiar with Chinese infantry tactics knows that despite modern reforms they still love the human wave approach. It won't take much genius to convert the old tendency sending 5000 infantrymen charging up a hill to sending 5000 drones toward an American carrier battle group. The Soviet Union trained to make an attack on a US carrier battle group and hopefully overwhelm its defense with dozens or hundreds of anti-ship missiles. Luckily we never had to see how that would have worked. In the period since then close in weapons and ship defenses have been greatly improved, but next generation drones will be very small, very maneuverable and hard to hit. We train and design weapons to stop a mass inbound attack but I fear that number of bogies we are capable of stopping may be off by factor of 10 from what can be launched at us. It is not just the Navy who needs to make this paradigm shift. Air Force bases, masses of ground troops and even individual aircraft in flight or armored vehicles may become the targets of these swarms.
I am very certain rail guns don't spout flames - other than that looks like a Civil War Ear ironclad.
Japan did that in WW2. The look on our faces wasn't pretty.
Or the updated version - Galactica.
Ear=Era. alas spell checker.....
The article headline is a bit misleading. The technology of the IJN I-400 submarine class, impressive as it was (even more so since the Allies didn't even know about them until after the war), was more along the lines of large aircraft-carrying submarine vice "giant underwater aircraft carrier."
It's a proposed airship called the "Walrus" and the Army is looking at the feasibility of such a ship. It would be over a football field in length as per the graphic above. Check it out at Gizmag.com
Bubbleheads get the nookie, eh?
At what depth? My understanding is MBA unmanned submersibles had photographed one of Macon's Sparrowhawks (more or less intact!) on the bottom amidst the wreckage but IIRC, that was several 1,000's of feet down.
Here's one of Macon's F9Cs 'hooking up' after a scouting sortie:
Interesting strategery. Mebbe you should see HR at the Pentagon...