00:43 GMT +326 March 2017
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    The future USS Zumwalt Navy destroyer

    Proposed Deployment of USS Zumwalt to S Korea Would Boost 'Pressure on China'

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    Shortly before United States Defense Secretary James Mattis’ visit to South Korea, Harry B. Harris, Commander of the US Pacific Command (USPACOM), proposed deploying the cutting-edge Zumwalt destroyer to South Korean Jeju Island.

    Commenting on the proposal, experts noted that on the one hand such deployment would be aimed at pressuring China, on the other hand – at testing Beijing’s reaction.

    The $4.4 billion USS Zumwalt is the most technologically advanced destroyer with the American Navy. The 183-meter-long warship has a displacement of 15,000 tons. It has an almost nonexistent radar signature due to its innovative angular design. The warship is armed with various missiles and torpedoes, including the Tomahawk, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, and Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rockets, and can be equipped with a railgun.

    Deployment of such an advanced strategic warship would be complicated. However, if the South Korean Defense Ministry were to allow the ship to be parked in the region it would essentially be breaking its promise that no US troops or military equipment would be deployed to Jeju.

    "THAAD [US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system] is incomparable to the Zumwalt. It is a brand-new strategic weapon. I’m not sure that even its temporary stop [at the Jeju base] is realistic. As for strategic deployment, it is a very complicated matter," Kim Dongyeop, professor of the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University, told Sputnik Korea.

    This image provided by the U.S. Navy, taken Oct. 17, 2016, shows the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur, right, pulling into position behind the Military Sealift Command USNS Matthew Perry, during a replenishment-at-sea, seen from the bridge of the guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance, in the South China Sea
    © AP Photo/ U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 2nd Class Will Gaskill
    The professor noted that the Jeju naval base is fit for deploying such vessels like the USS Zumwalt.

    "The base is designed for deployment of Aegis-equipped warships with a Vertical Launch System capable of launching up to 20 Tomahawk missiles," the expert said.

    At the same time, according to Kim, the ship has not yet undergone railgun and other weapons tests and "its deployment as a strategic weapon would be complicated."

    "But if it were deployed Washington would have to revise its strategic objects management plans. Even if this happens the deployment would take a long period of time and lead to a number of difficulties," he added.

    It is very unlikely that the USPACOM commander was kidding when he proposed deployment of such an advanced strategic weapon to South Korea. However, it is noteworthy that the idea was disclosed by a US military commander, not by the South Korean government.

    "Washington wants to signal that the deployment of the Zumwalt could deter China’s military presence. They say: 'If China doesn’t let us do one thing [THAAD deployment] we’ll find another option [Zumwalt].' By doing this, the US wants to prompt China to take responsive steps," Kim pointed out.

    "The USS Zumwalt is capable of being equipped with powerful railguns. They outperform any other types of modern weapons. If such a warship was deployed near the Korean peninsula this would be a headache for China," the expert said.

    The strategy of Chinese naval ships is to travel from Shanghai to the Pacific, bypassing Jeju and Okinawa. The expert suggested that the Zumwalt’s deployment to the region could completely cut off the Chinese navy from entering the Pacific.

    "In addition to THAAD, such an anti-China US naval base would create another serious concern for China’s security," Kim said.

    The expert also assumed that the initiative may have been a proposal for China to reach a compromise on the deployment of THAAD to South Korea.

    The deployment was agreed by Seoul in 2016 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. With the stated aim of countering threats from North Korea, the issue serves as one of the main stumbling blocks in Beijing-Seoul ties.

    "While there is no direct link between the Zumwalt and THAAD, the warship may be used to mount pressure over THAAD," Kim concluded.

     

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    Tags:
    defense, USS Zumwalt, Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), China, United States, South Korea
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    • avatar
      whataf005
      So the a professor and an expert expect China to be cut off pacific just by 1 miserable US tin toy. Come on, If China sent in one barrage of missile on it, it would not survive. Good joke!
    • avatar
      Mitach2002
      Sure go for it, I'm sure China will just shrivel up and go home.
      Stupid Americans, you can't even get tiny nations to cower to you until you've destroyed them, I doubt China will be as easy but then again look at the Middle East. Another war you'll never win.
    • avatar
      ViTran
      What Towed there ... and then sunk !
    • avatar
      chrrev
      another ugly piece of overpriced junk, a perfect sea-going (or is it?) match to the F35...
    • avatar
      ivanwa88
      Im glad they said it would be fraught with difficulty I suppose if they do manage to get friendly with Russia 'Peter the Great' could tow her there just for a laugh or a giggle for the ladies onboard.
      Have it sit in dry dock a bit of a dry run you might say? they could run a night club and restaurants for the Island staff and visitors? Chinese would politely sail by and hoot there horn im sure.
    • Mikhas
      "Deployment of such an advanced strategic warship would be complicated."

      It certainly would. Specially if they use this unreliable and malfunctioning piece of cr*p that broke down and had to be towed away last time they tried it and the time before that. The Chinese would laugh their heads off.
    • avatar
      peaceactivist2
      Peace be with earth! Peace be with earth! Amen! Tit-for-tet, amen. If a speed boat can hit the Saud war Vassel in Yeman by the Houthis, fear that anything can be built, but everything can also be destroyed, amen.
    • arpito
      only fools or liars would propose that the movements of a ship of the size of Zumvalt will remain unknown because it has a small radar signature. Satellites know exactly where it is now via optical means and since ships are inherently slow moving, their exact location cannot be kept hidden once they are tracked. Whom are these people trying to fool?
    • landauroj
      Can a spy satellite detect destroyer Zumwalt? Can destroyer Zumwalt being snapshot? Is the bottom of the destroyer (under the sea-level) also radar proof? Is destroyer Zumwalt also undetected by any other electromagnetic radiation (e.g. gamma rays, microwaves)?
    • landaurojin reply towhataf005(Show commentHide comment)
      whataf005, If the Chinese cannot see the damn destroyer, then nothing can be done, friend?
    • landaurojin reply toMitach2002(Show commentHide comment)
      Mitach2002, Do not think so! With such powerful stuff I doubt. China must think other ways to detect the damn destroyer.
    • Dirk Ramsey
      Anyone taking odds that the floating scrap heap will make it that far
    • Dirk Ramseyin reply toarpito(Show commentHide comment)
      arpito, Themselves, and the U$A public.
    • Jeffrey Spinner
      All the Zumwalt class destroyers are non functional. How can you threaten someone with equip that had to be towed back to a dry dock because it couldn't drive it's propellers?
      www.rt.com/usa/367866-uss-zumwalt-stealth-break-down/
      The Zumwalt class destroyers (all 2-3 to be deployed because they can't make them work) are the largest waste of money on a per piece basis than the F35 who's engines keep on burning up.
      The lastest aircraft carrier, the Gerald Ford, will be the next non combat ready ship boondoggle. It will never be certified combat ready, because they can't fix it's problems either.
    • avatar
      martillo
      While the "problematic" dreadnought is in the region perhaps the navy boys could get the Chinese to patch the bloody thing up before it sinks and makes USSAN navy the laughing stock that Britland's has become.

      However, you just have to admire the chutzpah of Isra... I mean USSA, a nation that doesn't have a dime to its name and still struts around on credit imagining that it is cock of the walk. As for China's islands, If I were the USSANS I would no more poke the fire breathing Dragon than I would the salivating Bear, but then again when a nation of drug-addled, entitled zombies believe their own hubris you can bet it will end badly, very very badly.
    • avatar
      luckysin reply towhataf005(Show commentHide comment)
      whataf005, If they can get a lock on it you dipshit! The radar signature is so tiny it does not look like a destroyer.. All you ass wipes really don't believe experts do you, when it comes to radar signature the Zumwalt is second to none..The only scientist/experts you believe are Russian alcoholics...
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