The most advanced warship in the U.S. Navy, USS Zumwalt, has finally entered the sea. The destroyer was launched Monday from the famous Bath Iron Works in Maine. Yahoo! News offered this awesome video of the vessel’s construction. For years, I drooled over conjectural drawings of DDG-1000. Tacticians and strategists at the Pentagon undoubtedly did the same—the project has weathered technical setbacks and budget problems for years. Shipbuilding is complicated by the enormity of defense contracting, but there is no doubting the superiority of American technology and warships.
Now tied to a pier on the Kennebec River, Zumwalt will receive finishing touches to her hull and other systems. Bath Iron Works will deliver the warship to the Navy in late 2014, at which point the vessel will undergo thorough trials before deployment.
A press release from the U.S. Navy details some of USS Zumwalt‘s impressive capabilities:
The ship, the first of three Zumwalt-class destroyers, will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces and operate as part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. The Navy has incorporated many new technologies into the ship’s unique tumblehome hull, including an all-electric integrated power system and an Advanced Gun System, designed to fire rocket-powered, precision projectiles 63-nautical miles. The shape of the superstructure and the arrangement of its antennas significantly reduce the ship’s radar cross section, making the ship less visible to enemy radar at sea. The design also allows for optimal manning with a standard crew size of 130 and an aviation detachment of 28 Sailors thereby decreasing lifecycle operations and support costs.
Just as the Air Force had to wait for the F-22, the Navy has long expected DDG-1000. Now the future is here, and Zumwalt has some work to do. (And if the Chief of Naval Operations isn’t satisfied, I’d be perfectly happy to use this darling for my cabin cruiser.)
Photo: U.S. Navy