The U.S. Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyer program has experienced one problem after another, from a failure to maintain power while at sea to a gun that requires munitions so expensive that the Navy has decided not to use it.
Costs for the stealth warship have been rising steadily for more than a decade, and the Navy now estimates that the bill to acquire three ships – a huge reduction from the originally planned fleet of 32 – will come to more than $13.2 billion. And that doesn’t include the roughly $10 billion in development costs that push the overall program price tag north of $23 billion.
Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports Wednesday that the first ship in the class has been delayed yet again. The USS Zumwalt, which is now estimated to cost $7.8 billion, won’t be fully combat-ready until next year – six years behind schedule, and 10 years after construction began.
“The additional delay in final delivery of the destroyer, designated the DDG-1000, may increase doubts the Navy can build, outfit and deliver vessels on time and within cost targets,” Capaccio says.