destroyer of Zumwalt class that the Pentagon called a “super-stealth
silver bullet.” It will be able to move quietly along the coast,
including in the shallows, hitting the targets of the enemy with
electromagnetic rail guns, deceiving enemy radars.
Americans plan to equip its fleet in the Asia-Pacific region with these
ships “from sci-fi movies”. It is to the shores of China frightening
with the increase of its military where the Pentagon intends to relocate
60% of its ships in 2020 in the framework of the renewed military
The new destroyers are being built in Maine, the first will be launched
as early as 2014, the Associated Press reported. Visiting the local
shipyard in April, the head of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Grinert
praised the ships, saying that they would be the hope in the future. He
listed the main advantages: “invisibility”, an advanced sonar system,
the incredible striking power and small crew size.
Pentagon chief Leon Panetta, announcing at a regional security
conference in Singapore the change to the U.S. military strategy, said
that the new high-tech vessel will be a significant part of the U.S.
The stealth destroyers could be useful in other regions, such as the
Persian Gulf, but the military believe that they will be most beneficial
in Asia. The new ships will be able to perform the mission both in the
high seas and near the coast. In Asia there are a great number of island
States, and China has a long coastline in the Pacific.
Washington is worried that China is actively modernizing its fleet. In
particular, the country is working on reliable aircraft carriers, as
well as rockets and submarines, because of which the American vessels
may be denied access to the strategic sea lanes near the Chinese
territory. The United States believes that Beijing intends to prevent
the Americans from interfering in the conflict over the disputed
territory in the South China Sea or interaction with Taiwan that China
considers its own.
Now the U.S. has a great advantage at the high seas, but China by
modernizing its fleet is getting an advantage in shallower, coastal
waters. The new American stealth destroyers are designed to cope with
The Chinese ridiculed the American novelty, and critics reminded the U.S. Pentagon of another “super-stealth” project.
However, the Chinese military are not afraid of the science fiction
“silver bullets”. Officially they did not comment on the U.S. plans. But
one of the admirals appeared on local television with an openly mocking
commentary. He said that all the talk about the invincibility of the
new destroyers is no more than the advertising hype, but really any
“high tech” ship of the United States can be easily sunk by a simple
fishing boat loaded with explosives.
In the U.S., too, there are enough critics and skeptics, even though
they are mostly afraid of the size of budget spending. The construction
of one DDG-1000 costs about $3.1 billion – nearly twice the cost of the
existing destroyers. If we add the costs of research and development,
the price of one destroyer increases to seven billion dollars.
Critics believe that this Pentagon’s project is sucking money from the
Treasury, while it would be better to spend it on the support of the
regular navy. Many security experts have questioned whether the
developers are too fixated on the semi-fantastic “technology of the
They recall the story of the troubled fighter, fifth-generation stealth
F-22 Raptor. It was touted as the most advanced fighter ever built, but,
as recently revealed, it is almost dangerous to the pilots. But even
earlier these fighters were dropped because of exorbitant price. A
successor to the F-22 fighter, jet F-35, was the most expensive project
in the history of the Pentagon.
The Navy says that the cost of a destroyer will pay off. They are
convinced that the technology incorporated in the new stealth vessel
will meet the most current requirements, and in the next decade will be
gradually introduced on other vessels.
DDG-1000 destroyers and other stealth vessels of class Zumwalt have the
body that leaves almost no trace, they are equipped with an electric
motor and the most advanced sonar devices and missiles. These ships are
longer and heavier than the current destroyers, but the automated
systems installed on them will reduce the crew size by half. In
addition, the enemy radar will “see” not a warship, but a boat a little
bigger than a small fishing boat.
The destroyers will be equipped with an electromagnetic rail gun that
with the help of a magnetic field and electric current will run
projectiles at speeds several times faster than the speed of sound.
However, despite these fabulous features, the new destroyer was
virtually “drowned” in Congress. Initially the Navy ordered 32 of these
vessels, but the number was reduced to 24 and then to seven. Now only
three ships are being built.