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The Navy's new $7.8 billion stealth destroyer is now delayed for a sixth year, surprising no one
The USS Zumwalt will "the largest and most technologically advanced surface combatant in the world," according to the Navy — if it ever ends up seeing action.
The first of of the Navy's trio of new Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) stealth destroyers won't hit full combat capability until April 2020, Bloomberg's Anthony Capaccio reports, six years after the controversial $7.8 billion warship's original expected delivery date of July 2014 and more than a decade after full-rate production first began.
"While combat system testing has made significant progress, Zumwalt continues to work through first-in-class integration and shipboard test challenges," Navy spokeswoman Coleen O'Rourke confirmed to Bloomberg.
The fresh delay comes as lawmakers consider the Navy's request for additional $163.3 million to complete three Zumwalt-class vessels as part of the service's fiscal year 2020 budget proposal, according to a September 2019 Congressional Research Service report on the program, up 1.3 percent from the additional $150.2 million the service requested in its fiscal 2019 request.
In the six years since construction on the Zumwalt began, the Navy has requested an additional $1.5 billion to complete the three hulls, according to the CRS report, growing the overall cost of the program by 47 percent over the Navy's original fiscal 2009 budget submission.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) arrives at its new homeport in San Diego on Dec. 8, 2016 (U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 3rd Class Emiline L. M. Senn)
This is deeply unsurprising. While Bloomberg observes that the Zumwalt's sixth delay "may increase doubts the Navy can build, outfit and deliver vessels on time and within cost targets" amid the service's push for 355-ship fleet by 2034, let's be honest: a day late and a dollar short is the Navy's M.O. when it comes to cranking out "advanced" new warships.
Look no further than the Littoral Combat Ship, the ostensible backbone of the Navy's 355-hull future fleet that, with a sunk cost of $30 billion over the last two decades for just 35 insanely buggy vessels, gained a reputation as a "Little Crappy Ship" that the Navy would rather not even deploy despite rising tensions in littoral environments like the Persian Gulf.
And this is to say nothing of the Navy's $13 billion USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, the first of the Navy' next-generation "supercarrier" platforms that remains plagued by unforeseen problems with critical systems like the ship' nuclear power plant and he weapons elevators, as USNI News reported back in March 2019.
The Zumwalt is supposed to be the tip of the spear for the Navy's push to unfettered dominance of the world's ocean's, but it's instead been a lightning rod for cost overruns and controversy for more than a decade. Not that it matters, though: if the LCS and Ford carrier are any indication, the lawmakers will likely make the Navy stock up on extra Zumwalt-class floating garbage piles anyway.
Actor Mark Wahlberg will be visiting troops overseas to plug Wahlburgers, a fast-casual restaurant chain owned by the actor and his two brothers, Donnie Wahlberg, and chef Paul Wahlberg.
US troops will not burn and pillage like Genghis Khan's hordes as a result of Trump intervening in war crimes cases, Milley says
The U.S. military will not disintegrate into an undisciplined horde following President Donald Trump's recent intervention in three war crimes cases, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley assured lawmakers on Wednesday.
Milley was testifying before the House Armed Services Committee when he was pressed by Iraq war veteran Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) about the president's actions in the cases of former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, retired Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, and retired Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher.
Taliban fighters attempted to fight their way into Bagram Airfield on Wednesday by invading a medical facility just outside of the base's perimeter, a spokesman for Operation Resolute Support said Wednesday.
J.P. Lawrence of Stars and Stripes and Jim LaPorta of Newsweek first reported that the battle lasted for several hours after using car bombs to attack the hospital, which is near the base's northern corner. Helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft were reportedly used to drop ordnance on the hospital.
An armed suspect was taken into custody at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi on Wednesday morning after a brief lockdown period, according to the Texas base's Facebook account.
Though the exact nature of the incident is unclear, base officials wrote that no shots were fired and no injuries were reported.
The new defense bill would create a public database for every complaint made about privatized housing
Among the dozens of requirements outlined in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act is the requirement for the Secretary of Defense to create a public database for privatized housing complaints.
So, that will be... a lot.