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Eighty-million? Is that all? The recent Powerball winners scooped-up a cool quarter billion. Each. Still, it’s good to see our military contractors tightening their belts in preparation for Uncle Sam’s Thelma and Louise-style drive off the fiscal cliff. Judging from the video above, BAE is keeping its costs low by hiring Activision’s rejected animators. That said, I live less than 60 nautical miles from Narragansett Bay. So I take it all back. And offer you the official press release after the jump . . .

Arlington, VA – BAE Systems has received an $80.3 million modification contract award from the U.S. Navy to deliver two Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) for the latest in the Zumwalt class destroyer fleet, the DDG 1002.

This contract marks the third destroyer to receive AGS applications and brings the total funding of the initial contract for this ship, first awarded in October 2011, to $149 million.

“This contract demonstrates the progress made on the DDG 1000 program with the integration of AGS technology onto now a third DDG 1000 destroyer,” said Dave Johnson, director of the DDG 1000 program for BAE Systems. “The AGS is critical in supporting the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ expeditionary and joint operations against a wide range of littoral and deep inland targets.”

The AGS is a 155mm, vertically loaded gun mount that is capable of storing, programming and firing the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP). It is a fully automated weapon system that can fire 10 rounds per minute with ranges greater than 60 nautical miles.

The AGS rounds are drawn from a fully-automated, below-deck weapon handling and storage system holding up to 300 rounds. By eliminating the need for personnel in the magazine, the AGS design supports the U.S. Navy’s goals to significantly reduce overall crew requirements and increase crew safety.

To date, BAE Systems has designed, built and integrated four AGS for the first two DDG 1000 destroyers in the Zumwalt class fleet. Work under this contract will be performed at BAE Systems’ Louisville, Kentucky and Cordova, Alabama facilities, and is expected to be completed by January 2018.

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  1. A 60 mile range? WOW! Makes the ol’ 16″ guns on the Missouri class battleships seem like antiques… opps, they are antiques.

  2. $40 million a cannon still probably makes it the most expensive gun in history… It would be cool to dig up some historic prices and adjust them for inflation.

  3. i do not like the zumwalt destroyers.

    more increasingly complex, lightly armored BS that costs a fortune. you have a system that is increasingly automated, which reduces crew size and a ships capabilities to conduct damage control. 155mm guns that are accurate are nice, but there is no substitute for 16″ guns…especially if those guns received the modernized upgrades of new guns.

    and dont expect them to be fielded. sequestration will ensure they get cut and that is not a bad thing.

  4. “in preparation for Uncle Sam’s Thelma and Louise-style drive off the fiscal cliff.”

    yep, as others have said..iran, china, russia, the middle east are just smoke screens, the real threat to America is The Financial Collapse and it’s ensuing domestic chaos.

    • jd, youre absolutely correct,

      adam, yes we do need to balance the budget, which is the antithesis of how the debt-leveraged US dollar works. The less debt, the less powerful the dollar is. talk about vicious cycles.

      There are precisely three things which we can impact to effectively reduce the deficit and debt:

      a.) Cut “defense” spending (i know, this is sacrilegious with the right)
      b.) Cut Medicare/Social Security (i know, this is sacrilegious with the left)
      c.) Raise taxes (i know, this is sacrilegious among all americans)

      Anyone who tries to tell you something else will be the cure is simply bullshitting you. None of the rest of government spending really compares to items a & b. And until we, as a country, stop spending money to accomplish our national goals, cutting taxes merely exacerbates the problem.

      the time to pay the piper has arrived. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it HAS gotten to that level of stupid. Were going to have to cut things we dont want to cut. that is, if we still want a country.

      • We absolutely need to spend less on gov, and this must include the military which can surely cut alot of fatty pork. This gun platform is quite superior and cost effective in the long run because of what it can do per shell at a fraction of the cost of a tomahawk cruise missile (basically turning artillery shells into cruise missils). Military spending (while still wasteful and too much) is around 3-4 percent of GDP which is around the same as its always been. We have forces in friendly nations that have no reason to be there (to say nothing of the war theaters). Military and instances of natural or man made disasters where the national guard is mobilized for relief are really the only main reasons for a centralized government where it is a necessary evil to have.

      • Raising taxes is counter-productive at this point. Since WW II, federal tax revenue has averaged 18% of GDP, with the high of 20% being reached for a single year during the Y2K scare near the end of Clinton’s presidency.

        The high marginal tax rate of 92% in the 1950s collected less revenue.

        The moral of the story is that the Laffer curve has 65 years of experience to back it up. Raising tax rates will decrease revenue. I have forgotten both numbers, but both Obama’s and Ryan’s budget plans, which wouldn’t balance the budget for another ten years, assumed the balance budget would soak up something idiotic like 23% of GDP. Ain’t gonna happen. Gotta cut spending.

        • look, im not going to waste my time and address each red herring individually. im aware of the trends in defense spending, im aware of the characteristics of supply side economics, and how romney and obamas plans are just a elaborate way of kicking the can down the road.

          when you have a government mandatory spending, which is SSN, Medicare, etc, which outpaces even what we bring in annually in revenue (calculating if you were to cut 100% of discretionary spending), then you have to do something to be able to make up for the difference.

          thats assuming if you want to maintain the current paradigm, then yes, you will have to raise taxes, cut entitlements, and cut defense to balance the budget. however, the current cuts are insufficient…by a long shot. and congress will continue doing what it does best: kicking the can down the road.

          we seriously need to revaluate government’s true role in our lives.

  5. Wouldn’t it be cheaper and just as effective to put missile launchers and artillery on a large cargo type ship to use for off shore support of ground troops? A state of the art billion dollar warship isn’t really needed to loaf off the coast and do fire missions, is it?

    • If you take all the defensive/offensive systems, radar/sonar systems, navigational & communications systems & put them on a tanker ship you just have a bigger target that’s less maneuverable/slower & easier to destroy cause it’s hull isn’t designed to survive battle damage.


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