The Pentagon cannot afford the LRLAP munitions, designed for guns of the new Zumwalt destroyers.
The LRLAP (Long Range Land-Attack Projectile) 155mm guided precision munitions, developed for guns of the DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class vessels, have turned out to be too expensive, and, apparently, the US Navy will have to cancel the projectiles, the Defense News informational website reported.
The LRLAP was designed as a high-precision munition for naval artillery, in particular for the DDG 1000’s Advanced Gun System (AGS), a 62-caliber gun with an automated magazine and handling system. According to the words of manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the projectiles are capable to “defeat targets in the urban canyons of coastal cities with minimal collateral damage.” The LRLAP can be used at a distance up to 80 miles (about 130 km).
As Defense News reported, due to reduction of the numbers of the Zumwalt-class destroyers from a total of 28 ships to three that also has reduced expected production volume of the munitions, the prime cost of this projectile jumped up to $800,000 per round or more. It is twice more of the initial estimates.
As sources of the website reported, the projectile is fully developed and tested, and the US Navy does not have an issue with the gun or its munition but it has “an issue on the price point.”
The situation is complicated by the fact that the LRLAP is the only munition for the 155-millimeter guns of the Zumwalt-class vessels. Military sources said that currently, the US Navy is searching for another projectile for the gun system. Possibilities of reworking of the Excalibur extended range guided artillery shell, as well as of speed-up of the development of future hypersonic munitions are currently contemplated.