Pentagon Exploits Ukraine War to Sink Another Billion Into Failed Zumwalt-Class Destroyers

by | Mar 22, 2022

Pentagon Exploits Ukraine War to Sink Another Billion Into Failed Zumwalt-Class Destroyers

by | Mar 22, 2022

The Pentagon’s latest budget proposal will reportedly request at least $1 billion to equip the Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyer with new hypersonic missiles, as the military continues to dump countless tax dollars into a warship which still lacks a primary weapon.

The “retrofit” for three Zumwalt destroyers will be detailed in a budget request later this month, but is reported to carry a price tag of more than $1 billion, according to the Associated Press.

The USS Zumwalt was set to be the first in a new generation of destroyers, with the Navy aiming to produce at least 32 new warships. With mounting costs and technical failures, however, the Pentagon cut production after building just three destroyers, pouring nearly $8 billion into each

The ship’s most pressing problem may be its lack of a primary weapon system. Its design initially called for a long-range GPS-guided munition that could be fired quickly, but the Navy soon found the platform could cost nearly $1 million per round. The program was scrapped, leaving the destroyer with only two smaller guns which have issues of their own. 

The Defense Department now believes it can replace the missing weapon with a hypersonic missile “thanks to a design failure that works to the Navy’s advantage,” per the AP. While the Pentagon may present the retrofit as a convenient solution, the move would mark a radical change in the role the ship was designed for. Further, hypersonic missiles, like the Zumwalt itself, are a major boondoggle that present more costs than benefits

The latest budget proposal is not the first time the Pentagon has spoken of equipping the Zumwalt with hypersonic weapons, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has only hastened the military’s effort to deploy the new munition.

Moscow said it successfully used one of its hypersonic Kinzhal missiles to destroy a munitions depot in the Ukrainian village of Delayatyn last Friday in its first-ever deployment in combat, a claim later confirmed by President Joe Biden.

American officials have repeatedly claimed that China and Russia’s hypersonic missiles pose a threat to the US, calling to boost funding for the system to close the new ‘missile gap.’ The Pentagon’s FY2022 budget request will seek $3.8 billion for hypersonic research alone, according to the Congressional Research Service, up from $3.2 billion last year.

About Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com and news editor of the Libertarian Institute. Will Porter is the assistant news editor of the Libertarian Institute and a staff writer and editor at RT. Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter host Conflicts of Interest along with Connor Freeman.

Our Books

latest book lineup.

Related Articles

Related

News Roundup 4/11/2024

News Roundup 4/11/2024

US News Bill to Extend Mass Surveillance Program Fails House Vote The Institute  Biden Says He’s Considering Dropping Charges Against Julian Assange AWC Ukraine Biden Administration Has Undercounted Ukraine Spending By $14 Billion AWC Israel CNN Says Evidence Shows...

read more
News Roundup 4/11/2024

News Roundup 4/10/2024

Russia US Transfers Weapons Seized in Middle East to Ukraine The Institute  US Announces $138 Million HAWK Air Defense Deal for Ukraine AWC German Troops Arrive in Lithuania for First Permanent Deployment Since WWII AWC China US to Expand Naval Base in Papua New...

read more
News Roundup 4/11/2024

News Roundup 4/8/2024

Ukraine Russia Repels Major Drone Attack on Military Base The Institute  Ukrainian Drone Hits Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant AWC Israel Biden Says Israel Is Doing What He Asked, Signaling No Change in US Support AWC Gallant: Israel Withdrawing From Southern Gaza to...

read more
News Roundup 4/11/2024

News Roundup 4/7/2024

Ukraine As Ukraine’s War Effort Fails, Kiev Embraces Neo Nazi ‘Bad Guys’ Attacking Russia The Institute  Israel Israel Lobby Targets Former GOP Rep. John Hostettler's Campaign NBC Israeli Doctor Says Israeli Detention of Palestinians Violates International Laws...

read more
News Roundup 4/11/2024

News Roundup 4/5/2024

Russia US Official Admits Ukraine Proxy War Failing to Weaken Russia The Institute  Blinken Vows ‘Ukraine Will Become a Member of NATO’ AWC Russian Defense Minister Warns French Counterpart Against Sending Troops to Ukraine AWC Israel US Approves Transfer of Thousands...

read more
News Roundup 4/11/2024

News Roundup 4/4/24

US News Orwellian Tactics? Libertarian Party Fears Targeting By FBI After Letter The Institute  Mitch McConnell Says He’ll Stay in the Senate To Fight the ‘Isolationist Movement’ AWC Ukraine Ukraine Aid Vote Not Expected in House for Weeks or Longer AWC Ukrainian...

read more