US Navy To Upgrade Destroyer USS Zumwalt With Hypersonic Weapons

The guided-missile destroyer named the USS Zumwalt reached Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi last week to be upgraded with advanced hypersonic weapons.

The 16,000-ton warship will be outfitted with the Conventional Prompt Strike (abbreviated CPS) weapon system as part of a modernization procedure that will last two years, per USNI News, citing the US Navy.

USS Zumwalt

Deployment of this upgraded destroyer is likely to commence in 2025.

The upgrade will experience the vessel’s pre-existing twin 155mm next-gen gun systems being replaced by four missile tubes that measure 87 inches in length, per the outlet.

Each tube will hold three Common Hypersonic Glide Body (abbreviated C-HGB) missiles — the common hypersonic munition prepared for the US Navy and the US Army hypersonic weapon missions.

The navy plans on arming the other Zumwalt-class warships — Lyndon B. Johnson and USS Michael Monsoor — with the powerful weapon.

Transition from the Littoral to Blue-water Warship

Initially, the warship was constructed for littoral combat, supporting soldiers ashore with Long-Range Land Attack Projectiles.

The precision-guided naval artillery shells measuring 155mm each were to have a range of 60 NMS (69 miles per 111 kilometres), costing about $1.8–2 billion to purchase 2,000 rounds for the three vessels.

However, cost overruns have compelled the navy to lower the class to three from 32 and drop the costly advanced gun systems for CPS.

Conventional Prompt Strikes

The CPS system can deliver a non-nuclear projectile from an under-sea and sea platform more than 2,775 kilometres apart.

The CPS and the US Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon have a common projectile, the C-HGB, comprising a two-stage booster (34.5 inch) besides a smart thermal protection system.

Following the deployment of Zumwalt, the Navy envisions installing the CPS on Virginia-class subs in 2028.

References: Naval News, The Defense Post, Interesting Engineering

Latest Shipping News You Would Like:

Get the Latest Maritime News Delivered to Your Inbox!

Our free, fast, and fun newsletter on the global maritime industry, delivered everyday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *