New stealth destroyer’s ammunition costs too much, Navy says

The future USS Zumwalt heads down the Kennebec River after leaving Bath Iron Works Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, in Bath, Maine. The nation's biggest and most technologically sophisticated destroyer is going to join the Navy with half the normal crew size thanks to unprecedented automation. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
The future USS Zumwalt heads down the Kennebec River after leaving Bath Iron Works Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, in Bath, Maine. The nation's biggest and most technologically sophisticated destroyer is going to join the Navy with half the normal crew size thanks to unprecedented automation. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The new gun system on the Navy’s most advanced destroyer is firing blanks until the Navy can find cost-effective projectiles.

The Navy wants to lower costs or come up with alternatives to the guided munitions designed by Lockheed Martin for the USS Zumwalt’s 155-mm Advanced Gun System.

The GPS-guided, rocket-powered projectiles with a range of 70 miles are supposed to be cheaper than missiles but currently cost $800,000 apiece. That compares with $1 million for a cruise missile, which has a range of 1,000 miles.

Defense analyst Loren Thompson from the Lexington Institute said Congress is going to want answers about why the cost is just coming to light. The Zumwalt was commissioned into service last month and is en route to its homeport in San Diego.