USS Zumwalt starts stealthy voyage to San Diego home port

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The USS Zumwalt departing Bath Iron Works in Maine, marking the beginning of a 3-month journey to its new homeport in San Diego(Credit: US Navy)

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The US Navy has revealed that its largest-ever destroyer, and most technologically-advanced surface ship to date, left the Bath Iron Works in Maine, US, on Wednesday and is preparing for its three-month journey to its home port in San Diego. The USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) has completed its sea trials and will join the fleet after its commissioning ceremony in Baltimore on October 15.

According to the Navy, the Zumwalt's crew of 147 under Captain James Kirk (no, not the one from Star Trek) have completed their engineering light off assessment and crew certification in record time over a three-month period.

When the Zumwalt is commissioned, it will begin its journey to its homeport of San Diego with several visits at various ports scheduled. However, its arrival in San Diego will not be a rest stop because it will then take part in Post Delivery Availability and Mission Systems Activation exercises before being integrated into the fleet in 2018.

The USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) passing the USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) as Zumwalt departs Bath Iron Works(Credit: US Navy)

At 610-ft (186 m) long and 80.7-ft (25 m) wide, the Zumwalt is significantly larger than previous US destroyers with 100 ft (30 m) more length and 13 ft (4 m) more beam than the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The Zumwalt is named after Admiral Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt Jr., former chief of naval operations from 1970 to 1974. It's notable for its composite superstructure and wave-piercing tumblehome hull designed to make it 50-times stealthier than current ships to help it in its task as a multi-mission land attack and littoral dominance warship.

In addition, it is the first US Navy surface warship to use an integrated power system (IPS) to provide electric power for both propulsion and weapon systems. At about 78 megawatts, it has almost as much generating capacity as a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

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