The US Navy Zumwalt Class destroyer has shells more expensive than a cruise missile
The United States Navy Stealth Guided-missile Destroyer Zumwalt has an extremely advanced cannon system but it is extremely expensive, with each bullet it fires costs up to nearly 1 million USD.
Costing up to $4.3 billion each ship , the Zumwalt Class is considered the most expensive class of destroyer in the history of the US Navy.
First of all, it should be mentioned that the shell used for the 155mm naval gun on the destroyer Zumwalt is not an ordinary shell.
This is a long-range LRLAP artillery shell – roughly translated as “Long-range Land-Attack Projectile”. The maximum range of this shell is up to 154 km and has a target deviation at a maximum distance of only 50 meters.
LRLAP has the same range as a normal cruise missile with a warhead weighing 11 kg, enough to destroy small and medium-sized enemy targets and fortified structures.
The only problem with this super modern artillery shell is its extremely high cost.
In 2016, each LRLAP shell of the destroyer USS Zumwalt costs between $800,000 and $1 million.
With the shell price close to the price of a Tomahawk Land-Attack cruise missile (each Tomahawk costs $1.4 million), it’s clear that filling Zumwalt’s stockpile with shells is a big problem for the United States Navy.
The 155mm naval artillery gun system on the Zumwalt is operated independently and fully automatically, including the reloading process. By design, the total ammunition storage capacity of the ship gun is up to 750 rounds of 155mm artillery shells.
750 shells if all LRLAP ammo will cost about 700 million USD. With a maximum rate of fire of each cannon of 10 rounds per minute – two guns equal to 20 rounds per minute, these nearly billion dollars worth of shells will be burned up within an hour of continuous fire.
However, the above calculations are only theoretical. Currently, the Zumwalt destroyer is said to be without any LRLAP-type artillery shells in storage.
And if using normal 155mm shells, the power of this Zumwalt cannon is no different from other sea guns, even worse because its caliber is a bit too big.