Friday, December 16, 2005

Can the DD(X) deliver on its mission?

Bob Novak wrote a piece on the battle between battleships and the DD(X) program. Many embedded vendors have a stake in the DD(X) so this is worth writting about. The DD(X) is also one of the platforms for evaluating embedded real time Java. There is a lot of food for thought here. A couple of items caught VDC's eye:

On the modernized battleships, 18 big (16-inch) guns could fire 460 projectiles in nine minutes and take out hardened targets in North Korea. In contrast, the DD(X) will fire only 70 long-range attack projectiles at $1 million a minute. The new destroyer will rely on conventional 155-millimeter rounds that Marines say cannot reach the shore. Former longtime National Security Council staffer William L. Stearman, now executive director of the U.S. Naval Fire Support Association, told me, "In short, this enormously expensive ship cannot fulfill its primary mission: provide naval surface fire support for the Marine Corps." (VDC added the emphasis)


Never has it been clearer how the military-industrial complex functions. Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics and BAE Systems are mobilized behind DD(X). Congressional staffers, eyeing a future in the Pentagon or the armaments industry, know the way to future advancement is not to be pro-battleship.

There seems to be similar concerns about aspects of the Future Combat System as well.