The USS Zumwalt is the US Navy’s newest, and definitely most futuristic addition to their fleet. A member of the new DDG 1000 Destroyer Class, it took to the water Monday, Dec. 7th, for its first sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean. Fittingly, it left the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard under the command of Navy Captain James (T?) Kirk. If Russia launches a new destroyer with someone named Khan at the helm, well, to quote Ray Arnold in Jurassic Park, “Hold onto your butts.”
The Zumwalt is the most technologically advanced and largest destroyer-class ship the US Navy has ever had. Its unique design is intended to allow it to slice quietly through the water. Fitted with the most advanced automation and control systems on the sea, it can execute its missions with a surprisingly small crew size of 148 people, but with a punch that can take out any adversary.
That punch includes two 155 mm guns capable of firing long-range projectiles that can strike a target from a distance of 63 nautical miles. There are also two 57 mm Mk 110 guns for close-in anti-aircraft/anti-missile defense capabilities. The ship can also support torpedo capabilities. Then of course, living up to its designation as a Guided Missile Destroyer, it can carry up to 80 surface-to-surface missiles of varying types, depending on the mission. Add to all this the landing pad that can support 2 MH-60R type helicopters, or 1 Sikorsky MH-60R and up to three drones.
The ship is driven by two Rolls-Royce Marine Trent-30 gas turbine engines. Earning its nickname of the “beast of the seas”, the MT-30 is the most powerful marine turbine in the world. In tandem, the two engines can push the Zumwalt to speeds up to 30 knots.
Measuring 610 feet long, this is the largest destroyer in the US Navy, but because of the stealth technology built into the ship, its radar cross-section is only about the size of a fishing boat.
With unprecedented size, speed, and armament, this marvel of technology clearly comes out as the waterborne version of hell for the bad guys.
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