USS Zumwalt Swings by Ketchikan Over the Weekend - P.O.W. Report

Monday, March 25, 2019

USS Zumwalt Swings by Ketchikan Over the Weekend

The USS Zumwalt entering Ketchikan March 23rd, photo courtesy of Alaska NORAD Region, Alaskan Command and 11th Air Force

The Zumwalt made its first trek to Alaska over the weekend opening up for public tours to the very impressed local public. While the public is impressed by its sleek design this destroyer has had many issues even before it ever launched.

The Zumwalt-class destroyer is a class of United States Navy guided missile destroyers designed as multi-mission stealth ships with a focus on land attack. It is a multi-role class that was designed for secondary roles of surface warfare and anti-aircraft warfare and originally designed with a primary role of naval gunfire support. It was intended to take the place of battleships in meeting a congressional mandate for naval fire support. The ship is designed around its two Advanced Gun Systems, their turrets and magazines, and unique Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) ammunition. LRLAP procurement was cancelled, rendering the guns unusable, so the Navy is re-purposing the ships for surface warfare.

The ship is 610 feet long with a draft of 27.6 feet and a beam of 80.7 feet 

Zumwalt helped by a local tug, photo courtesy of the Great Alaskan Lumber Show
The controversy with this vessel started out financially when the original $22.5 Billion program for 32 vessels began to be way over budget and was finally scrapped to only two ships; the Zumwalt and it's sister brother ship the USS Michael Monsoor. Despite being a much larger US destroyer, the radar cross section is akin to that of a fishing boat, the special design of the hull and deckhouse reduce radar return which makes this ship 50 times harder to spot on radar than an ordinary destroyer.

The destroyer had two major engine issues and last broke down in the middle of Panama Canal, having to be taken by tug for repairs. Hopefully, it won't break down again as it appears that the ship will be taking part in the Northern Edge Naval Exercises in May.

KODIAK, Alaska — The U.S. military has scheduled its exercises in the Gulf of Alaska for the spring, despite calls to move the maneuvers to the fall.

The U.S. Pacific Command’s 2019 Northern Edge exercises, which involve participation from all military services and other agency partners, are planned for May 13-24, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Tuesday.

The exercises that are held every other year are expected to involve more than 6,000 service members, 200 aircraft and multiple Navy destroyers and Coast Guard cutters. The exercises allow the military to hone its current abilities and “test future applications of combat operations and weapons capabilities,” U.S. Air Force Sgt. George Maddon said.

Some of the exercises involve live munitions.

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