In any case, its capabilities proved too expensive, so only 3 ships are going to be constructed, and now we learn that the high tech shells that were to allow for long distance shelling have been canceled because they were too expensive:
The USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is the US Navy’s latest warship, commissioned just last month—and it comes with the biggest guns the Navy has deployed since the twilight of the battleships. But it turns out the Zumwalt's guns won’t be getting much of a workout any time soon, aside from acceptance testing. That’s because the special projectiles they were intended to fire are so expensive that the Navy has canceled its order.When we are discussing the subject of swamps that need draining, the Pentagon should be at the top of the list.
Back when it was originally conceived, the Zumwalt was supposed to be the modern-day incarnation of the big-gunned cruisers and battleships that once provided fire support for Marines storming hostile beaches. This ability to lob devastating volleys of powerful explosive shells deep inland to take out hardened enemy positions, weapons, and infrastructure was lost after the Gulf War’s end, when the last of the Iowa-class battleships were retired. To bring it back, the Zumwalt’s design included a new gun, the Advanced Gun System (AGS). As we described it in a story two years ago:
The automated AGS can fire 10 rocket-assisted, precision-guided projectiles per minute at targets over 100 miles away. Those projectiles use GPS and inertial guidance to improve the gun’s accuracy to a 50 meter (164 feet) circle of probable error—meaning that half of its GPS-guided shells will fall within that distance from the target.
The "less cost" part, however, turned out to be a pipe dream. With the reduction of the Zumwalt class to a total of three ships, the corresponding reduction in requirements for LRLAP production raised the production costs just as the price of the ships they would be deployed to soared. Defense News reports that the Navy is canceling production of the LRLAP because of an $800,000-per-shot price tag—more than 10 times the original projected cost. By comparison, the nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missile costs approximately $1 million per shot, while the M712 Copperhead laser-guided 155-millimeter projectile and M982 Excalibur GPS-guided rounds cost less than $70,000 per shot. Traditional Navy 5-inch shells cost no more than a few hundred dollars each.