Like with so much of that arrogant cabal's products, it was lost in a stew of technology risk and compounded best case scenarios.
It didn't have to be that way.
There are proven systems that just need to be modified and evolved. If we wanted a larger naval gun, we could always dust off and evolve the MK-71 ... or do what navies have done for centuries - navalize good army kit.
How to do that in a modern sense? Just for entertainment, ponder what the Germans are doing ashore with the same caliber Zumwalt was going to bring to the fleet; 155mm/6.1".
Rheinmetall plans to develop and manufacture a new 155 mm gun with a significantly larger chamber and longer, 60-calibre barrel, the company said in a 27 November press release.The Germans aren't going to build a ship large enough to carry this gun - and one could argue they don't have the requirement, but we can and do.
...a gun able to fire existing rounds compliant with the NATO standards set out in the Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU) as well as new ammunition families. The new ammunition types will be optimised to withstand the stresses occurring in the new gun as well as being able to be fired from legacy JBMoU-compliant guns. The German procurement authorities have specified a maximum effective range of 75 km, according to Rheinmetall, which said it would use 83 km as the baseline as the course correction fuze necessary to achieve precision at these ranges reduces range by 10%.
The Germans buy a lot of American kit. Wouldn't it be nice and return the favor?