US Navy Seeks Early Upgrades on Troubled Zumwalt Destroyers

The US Navy plans to launch a program of early and future upgrades on the troubled Zumwalt-class destroyers.

The ship, which completed its first operational deployment only recently, has been the subject of congressional scrutiny due to several mishaps.

Congress is questioning the destroyer’s cost overruns, which reportedly forced the navy to reduce the class size from 32 to three.

The Zumwalt’s precision-guided artillery shell has also been targeted because of its expense.

As part of the Zumwalt Enterprise Upgrade Solution (ZEUS) program, the warship would undergo several changes to make it more like other US Navy warships.

The upgrade would cover the vessel’s surface electronic warfare, undersea warfare combat system, and a capability that effectively communicates data between the ship’s radars and fire control systems.

Potential Problems

In addition to combat systems, the ZEUS program will seek changes in the Zumwalt’s topside design.

Its SPY-3 radar may also be replaced with the SPY-6 (v)3 developed by Raytheon Technologies.

The US Navy has issued a request for information and is now awaiting responses from the defense industry.

However, the ZEUS program is poised to face Congressional challenges.

More changes to the Zumwalt-class destroyer will likely face increased scrutiny by lawmakers, since it has already undergone several costly modifications.

The navy has not disclosed the projected cost of the new upgrades.

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