Canceling the USS Lyndon B. Johnson, a Zumwalt-class destroyer, is a topic that’s “to be reviewed in the next few weeks” by teams formed by the Pentagon’s independent cost-assessment office, according to a Defense Department briefing document dated Aug. 25. Two officials familiar with the issue confirmed that cancellation discussions are under way although no decision has been made.
The Zumwalt-class destroyer is designed as a multimission land-attack vessel that will use electricity generated by gas turbines to power all of its systems, including weapons. The cancellation discussions, part of planning for the fiscal 2017 budget, are the latest twist for a program that’s been buffeted by delays, rising costs and changing plans.
From an initial 32, the quantity planned was reduced over the years to seven and then three. The estimated procurement cost for all three vessels has increased by 37 percent since 2009 to $12.3 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service.
The first Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the mightiest ship in history, and with an expected service life of 50 years, had a development and construction cost of a little over $12 billion.
And the Navy is spending that much on just three ill-convceived destroyers?
This is a travesty.