The United States Navy christened its new stealth destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine on Saturday. The $3.3 billion, 610-foot-long battleship is the largest and most technologically advanced destroyer in naval history.
Anne Zumwalt and Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers, both descendants of the ship’s namesake, former chief of naval operations Admiral Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., did the honors of busting open champagne against the stealth ship's hull. Elmo Zumwalt was the youngest officer to ever serve as Chief of Naval Operations. As an admiral and Chief, Zumwalt played a major role in U.S. military history, especially during the Vietnam War. Zumwalt reformed U.S. Navy personnel policies which improved enlisted life and eased racial tensions.
Admiral Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr.:
— NicoleStokes-Zumwalt (@schutzhund13) April 11, 2014
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus commented, “She (the USS Zumwalt) is, in the truest sense of the word, the first of her class. So too was Admiral Zumwalt." The ship is roughly 90 percent complete, and is scheduled to be in operation by next spring.
Here is another shot of the new destroyer class warship:
— Andy Martin (@SeeYouSoyuz) April 13, 2014
The General Dynamics-built Zumwalt-class destroyer's unconventional design aids in its stealth capabilities. Antennas, radar dishes and communications equipment are either hidden or enclosed in a 900-ton “superstructure” that sits atop the ship like a massive gray shell, somewhat reminiscent in appearance of the Ironclad warships of the Civil War era. Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition stated, “You will see her on the horizon long before you detect her on the radar.”
The USS Zumwalt is the first destroyer to have a total ship computing network enabling commanders to control all major functions from various terminals within the ship. The destroyer, with a crew of only 158, is also equipped with long-range guided missiles along with a 155 mm gun shooting GPS-guided ammunition that can zero in on targets from 60 miles away.
Interestingly, the first captain of the USS Zumwalt is named James Kirk.
Image via Twitter