When l first saw the pictures for this class my first thought was the US navy was doing it's own version of "back to the future" film. The idea that a 15,000 odd ton Destroyer the size of an old ww1 battleship could hide behind a "stealthy" new
and radical hull design with a radar signature return of a small trawler admittedly sounded good, in theory, but when faced with the fact that most countries that are considered 'threats to USA security' use satellite based recon assets.
l have to wonder
just how effective that design really is.
Specially with the advent of the likes of China developing ballistic missile based anti-ship weapons.
The only thing l really liked was the AGS gun system that was supposed to be the primary offensive
weapon of the class.
And they couldn't even get that right! With the land attack shell costing more than $800,000 a shell making the whole system uneconomic.
While the idea of a Hyper velocity shell based on the railgun design been
developed in the US sounds like a good idea, the basic problem that has always cropped up is the wear on the barrel resulting from the velocity.
As yet neither the developers of the railgun nor any other design where the velocity is developed
within the internal ballistic phase of the firing and pack delivery evolutions.
Except for an enterprising Norwegian? Company that has come up with the idea of a 'ram-jet' assisted long range 155mm shell concept.
Google it and see for yourself.
Fired at more normal muzzle velocities it apparently uses a pretty standard solid rocket assistance package to accelerate the shell to mach 3 like speed required for ram-jet initiation and once that occurs the built in ram-jet using the same type of, or
similar, solid fuel which then accelerates the shell to mach 5 speeds.
Hay press toe! Hyper velocity!
It gives a theorized range of 61mile which is at that magical 100km range the US marines say is their 'golden' artillery support
Thus giving the US their desired long range hyper velocity artillery support that doesn't require a barrel change out after 8 shots.
Further the time old stupidity of developing naval specific weaponry, the Navy will probably waste even
more money of developing it's own AGS equivalent munitions or the electric railgun they have gone all gags over.
BAE Systems even came up with a AGS Lite system for the DDG-51 flight 3 fleet and got little public response so far.
If they ( the
US Congress) are so worried about multiple expensive developments why don't they direct the three branches of their military that use 155mm calibre systems to put their collective heads together and develop ONE gun system for all three based on a 155mm 55L
artillery piece that can fulfill all their requirements?
Examples of which already exist, they only require 'navalisation ' and most of the R&D costs has already been spent
We will just have to wait and see if they 'see the light'.