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11 Jan 18. US Navy has no plan to introduce new ammo for Zumwalt destroyers. It’s been more than a year since the Navy decided to cancel procurement of an expensive new ammunition for its Zumwalt-class destroyers, but the service is still pondering how to best replace the munition, a Navy official said Wednesday.
In 2016, the Navy decided to stop buying the Long Range Land-Attack Projectile, or LRLAP, after discovering that its price had spiked to $800,000 per round. LRLAP was the only ammo developed specifically for the ship’s Advanced Gun System.
The problem, sources told Defense News then, didn’t lie with manufacturer Lockheed Martin, but with a program of record that decreased to three ships, making it impossible to benefit from economies of scale.
While the service is keeping an eye on a couple key technologies that could fill in the gap left by LRLAP, “there is not a plan right now for a specific materiel solution for the replacement round,” Capt. James Kirk, commanding officer of the destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000), told reporters at the Surface Navy Association symposium.
“We continue to monitor industry’s development and technical maturation. An example of that is the Hyper Velocity Projectile,” he said, referring to a high speed guided munition made by BAE Systems and originally developed for use in electromagnetic rail guns.
“We’re monitoring that technical maturation to see do we get there to get the kind of ranges and capabilities we want, that’s the right bang for the buck, cost to capability, for the Navy. We’re monitoring that, but we have not made a decision for that yet.”
Some of the delay could be due to a recent study by the Zumwalt requirements evaluation team, which re-evaluated how the Zumwalt-class could best meet the Navy’s operational needs. Based on the recommendations of the team, the service plans to shift the core mission of the ship from supporting ground forces close to the littorals to striking other surface vessels, Kirk said.
He added that once the fiscal year 2019 budget is released, the Navy will be able to more concretely detail whether that entails modifications or new weaponry for the Zumwalt-class.
“The president’s budget will hit, and we’ll have a little more ability to speak to exactly what we envision as the direction for the ship.”
(Source: Defense News)
11 Jan 18. In a landmark demonstration, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) connected key components of its Aegis Ashore and Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) technologies, validating the ability to greatly increase operational performance, efficiency and reliability of Aegis Ashore.
“Connecting these systems is more than a technological advantage – it’s a way to provide the warfighter with earlier intelligence and expanded situational awareness,” said Dr. Tony DeSimone, vice president and chief engineer of Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors. “Integration of these technologies allows us to deliver the most advanced solid state radar system in LRDR with the proven tested capability of Aegis. For the warfighter this combination provides an increased capability, in terms of additional performance and reaction time, to safely protect the people and nations they defend.”
Connecting the two mature systems, amounts to a low risk ‘technology refresh’ of the legacy SPY-1 antenna, resulting in:
• Ability to detect targets at longer distances
• Ability to combat larger numbers of targets simultaneously
• Additional target engagement opportunities
• Higher performance in complicated land environments
• Minimized interference with civilian or military radio emitters and receivers
• Increased use of the new SM-3 Block IIA missile’s performance
Lockheed Martin Solid State Radar (SSR) is a scalable Gallium Nitride (GaN) based radar building block, which i