Popular Mechanics South Africa

THE US NAVY’S $7.8 BILLION SHIP KILLERS

THE USS ZUMWALT and her two sister ships are undergoing a dramatic change of mission just three years after the first ship was commissioned.

The destroyers, originally meant to provide naval gunfire support for the US Marines and to bombard targets far inland, are now being reoriented as ship killers.

The class of destroyers, which and the , was intended to dramatically boost the fleet’s firepower. After the retirement of the four -class battleships in the early 1990s, the US Navy studied a number of solutions before deciding on the . Each ship would be equipped with two 155 millimetre Advanced Gun Systems, each firing a precision-guided Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) to ranges of up to 83 nautical miles.

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