Saturday, April 14, 2012

Navy spending $21 billion on three new destroyers, part of response to China’s military buildup

Artist rendering - credit: U.S. Navy
Madison Ruppert, Contributor
Activist Post

Despite the United States having record deficits, a black hole of debt and absolutely no money to be spending, the military continues to ignore this reality and funnel huge sums of money into the coffers of the war profiteers.

The new DDG 1000 Zumwalt class destroyer will focus on attacking land-based targets, leveraging stealth technology to allow the vessel to get close to shore before being detected and letting loose the massive advanced arsenal on the warship.

Similar to other military projects like the Blue Devil spy blimp and airborne laser programs, this project went far over the original estimated cost of $3.8 billion all the way up to $7 billion.

If they follow the established pattern, they very well might end up pumping billions into the program just to dump it after a few years.

The Zumwalt class destroyers will likely be outfitted with some of the most advanced, far-out naval technology the public knows about.

Not the least of which is the electromagnetic railgun, which will be able to fire projectiles faster (4,500-5,000 miles per hour) and farther (up to 100 nautical miles, with future incarnations potentially able to reach 220 nautical miles) than any other weapon currently in use.


According to Fox News, the Zumwalt-class destroyers are also going to receive Advanced Gun System (AGS), expected to have a range of close to 60 nautical miles.

One day, we very well may see these vessels outfitted with free-electron lasers, or more colloquially “powerful warship raygun turrets able to blast enemy missiles and aircraft out of the sky from afar,” as The Register put it.

“They were looking to introduce so many new technologies at once, and the cost ballooned,” said defense analyst Jay Korma, who works with the Avascent Group, according to Business Insider. “I don’t think people have changed their minds that it’s a capable ship. It’s just too expensive.”

The ship is currently being built in Maine at Bath Iron Works, which had to build a brand new $40 million building just to have the room required to build the vessel.

The new 106-foot-tall building, owned by General Dynamics, will be used to assemble the enormous hull segments of the 600-foot-long warship.

However, even with its massive size, the futuristic ship will only need half of the crew traditionally required to man a ship due to the highly complex on-board electronics and automation features.

The Zumwalt-class destroyers, which are expected to be operational some time in 2015, seems to be aimed mostly at combating the perceived threat of the Chinese military buildup and the Pentagon’s new focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

Early last month I reported on the increases in Chinese military spending, which was almost certainly a response to the Pentagon’s new strategy as well as the global growth of NATO, especially in the region of the South China Sea.

Indeed, it seems impossible to come to any conclusion other than that the United States has been goading China – and continues to do so – through various means but especially through arming those who are opposing Chinese control of the South China Sea.

“With its stealth, incredibly capable sonar system, strike capability and lower manning requirements — this is our future,” said Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations, during a visit to Bath Iron Works.

However, previously the vessel was criticized for trying to cram too much new technology into the platform and according to CBS News, some Navy officials pointed out that it is less capable in terms of missile defense compared to current destroyers and might be vulnerable when operating close to shore providing fire support.

Even the “tumblehome” hull, which allows it to pierce through waves, was criticized for being potentially unstable under certain circumstances.

While the latest proposed budget form the Navy puts the cost of the destroyers at $3.8 billion each, Winslow Wheeler, the director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information in Washington, points out that if you consider research and development costs it is actually $7 billion apiece.

Originally, the Navy wanted 32 of the massive destroyers, but that was quickly cut down to 24, then seven, and now a mere three due to the absurd costs associated with the vessels.

Despite the ludicrous cost – which we can’t afford since we do not have a single penny to our country’s name – Greenert claims that it fits perfectly into the new Asia-Pacific focus.

While he wouldn’t go into explicit detail about how the ship could actually be used, we do know that the Department of Defense is concerned about the Chinese navy.

This was evidenced last year by the United States nonsensically saying that China must explain their need for a refurbished Soviet aircraft carrier.

The United States is focused not only on the South China Sea but also the perceived threat of China stopping or delaying foreign intervention in a conflict involving Taiwan.

The Navy claims that the Zumwalt’s new technology will give the destroyer the ability to carry on operations and defeat aggression in locations where enemies are attempting to deny access including in the open ocean and close to shore.

The 155mm deck guns on the Zumwalt are designed to strike shore targets with guided munitions in order to open up the way for Marines to swoop in with landing vessels.

According to Eric Wertheim, author of the Naval Institute’s Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, this weapons system could prove more cost effective than cruise missiles in certain contexts.

Keep in mind, this type of scenario sounds very similar to what an operation against Iran might look like using the Pentagon’s so-called “commando mothership,” so I think this could very well be aimed at them as well as the Chinese.

Personally, I find it quite insulting that the Pentagon continues to spend money (which we don’t have), leveraging the American people as collateral against the massive debts.

Unfortunately we are ruled by a government which clearly plans for perpetual war across the globe, something which will undoubtedly cause unimaginable pain and suffering not only in those countries targeted by the West, but the United States and allied countries as well.

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on Orion Talk Radio from 8 pm -- 10 pm Pacific, which you can find HERE.  If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com


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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

We need to be very careful, it can be too much military complex. I don't see lot of investment in military. If we need those warship. If those warships provide tech, edge for defense and can cut cost on other things. Then I am for it. But I do not believe military hurt the ecomony but those two wars does (in middle east)....we should tries to void wars.. I do not believe we should have gone to Iraq, it hurt us so bad. I can't find a reason why we went over there.
There are other things I like to add to say, people get angry. I do not believe the goverment or the state should handle our retirement, pensions or pay for other people college education. bunch of other porks..we should get rid of those. It is useless, trustworthly and costly. People will not vote for the right person to run the office. They will vote for the wronge person to run the county, as long as people still get money from the goverment or the state. It also drive the dept up.
We need to take care of our industries, and envoroments. Make cleaner industries, by gov. award money to companies who able to operate without polluting our air and water. So they can earn profits, and to hire people to work. Peope,we need to shut-down the EPA, I am not misleading you. EPA are expensive, they fine the industries to death. Instead the industries need the money to pay for better and cleaner equipments that they can't even afford. So that is one of the reason why they ship our job to oversea. And still wont make any different to keep our air and water clean. And other county like China get stronger and our ecomony here gets weaker.
We need to break-up-the corperates. Like Wal-marts, pro-gamble, big banks, Oils corperates,and auto industries. It long over due, need to break them up. They gain too much controls, we will gain almost no surplus

Anonymous said...

25 trillion dollars in debt, record homeless across the country n we need more military toys. wtf! Who the fk is drivin this ship off the cliff? Pure insanity at the top. Not to worry, the US will implode before any of these are finished. Get ur guns ready, its comin.

Anonymous said...

I thought it 16 trillion dollor in dept?

David McElroy said...

This $21 billion would have purchased both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, complete with battleships and aircraft carriers in WWII.
A navy is mandated by the Constitution as necessary to our defense. No argument there. But I think greed, graft, and pork barrel spending have gone way off the deep end!
Vote Ron Paul for peace, prosperity, & liberty!

Anonymous said...

Is China lending them the money for that purchase?

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