The USS Zumwalt is the World’s Largest Destroyer

The Zumwalts are still plagued by problems.

The USS Zumwalt passes Fort Williams State Park with the Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse behind, as it heads to Portland Harbor in 2015.

Derek Davis/Portland Portland Press Herald/Getty Images

The Zumwalts, despite their high cost, have been plagued with equipment problems. Soon after its commissioning, the USS Zumwalt was launched. broke downIn the Panama Canal. The second ship in its class, the USS Michael Monsoor, failed during sea trials the following year.

A 2018 report by Military Watch MagazineThe Zumwalts were among others, noted that they had “suffered from poorly functioning weaponry, stalling engine, and an underperformance with their stealth capabilities, along with other deficiencies.”

According to the outlet, “They have almost completely failed to fulfill the original intended role of multipurpose destruction warships,” while the sheer scale of cost overruns makes it difficult to believe that the program is viable even if they were able to function as intended. 

Zumwalts lack many vital features, including antiship missiles, antisubmarine torpedoes and long-range area air defense missiles. the military expert Sebastian Roblin wrote in a 2021 National Interest article. Roblin called the destroyers an ambitious but failed ship concept.

Roblin noted that their weaponry was not cheap. The ship’s long-range land-attack projectile guided shells cost roughly $800,000 each — about the same price as a cruise missile. The munitions were eventually canceledIt is too costly to be worthwhile producing. 

Roblin stated that the Zumwalt was made using “unrealistic” estimates, which were based on minimal cost. This was despite being 50% more than budget.


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