US Navy takes possession of its largest ever destroyer

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The USS Zumwalt is the largest destroyer ever built for the US Navy(Credit: U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics/Released)

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The US Navy took formal possession of its largest ever destroyer as the future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) changed hands from the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Maine. Billed as "the most technically complex and advanced warship the world has ever seen," the handover follows months of sea trials during which the first in its class, multi-mission land attack and littoral dominance warship was tested to certify its hull, mechanical, and electrical systems, propulsion, and anchor and mooring systems.

With its distinct tumblehome hull and composite superstructure, the Zumwalt is notable not only for its size, but also for its suite of advanced stealth features that reduce the ship's radar profile by a factor of 50 over current destroyer designs.

Carrying a crew of 130 and an air detachment of 28, the destroyer is armed with two 155 mm Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) firing rocket-powered precision Long-Range Land Attack Projectiles (LRLAP) with a range of 63 nm (72 mi/117 km), which is three times greater than current surface gunnery.

The Navy says this is the first US warship to incorporate the Integrated Power System (IPS), which is an all-electric system powered by gas turbines. This design was chosen not only for economy and survivability, but also in anticipation of future energy weapons.

Named after former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo R "Bud" Zumwalt Jr, construction of the US$4 billion Zumwalt began in 2009 and it was launched in 2014. The Navy says that it's designed to operate independently in forward areas to provide presence and deterrence, as well as operating with joint and combined expeditionary forces as a multi-mission Anti-Air Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, and Anti-Surface Warfare unit.

The Zumwalt will now undergo crew certification before its formal commissioning in October in Baltimore, Maryland, after which it will sail to its homeport in San Diego, California.

"Today represents a significant achievement for not only the DDG 1000 program and shipbuilding team but for the entire US Navy," says Rear Admiral Jim Downey, DDG 1000 program manager and Program Executive Office Ships. "This impressive ship incorporates a new design alongside the integration of sophisticated new technologies that will lead the Navy into the next generation of capabilities."

The video below shows the Zumwalt underway.

Source: US Navy

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