The US Navy's largest and most technologically advanced destroyer, the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), arrived at its new homeport of San Diego, California today. The first-in-class warship left the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine on September 7 and made passage through the Panama canal, making goodwill visits to various ports along the way.

According to the Navy, the US$4 billion Zumwalt's advanced design meant the crew has been kept extremely busy at training exercises as they familiarized themselves with the ship's operations since the Navy took formal possession of it last May. In addition, the vessel suffered many teething incidents, including a propulsion malfunction en route to its commissioning ceremony in Baltimore and another breakdown in the Panama canal.

Named after Admiral Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt Jr., former chief of naval operations from 1970 to 1974, the Zumwalt is notable for its composite superstructure and wave-piercing tumblehome hull designed to make it 50 times stealthier than current ships, which will help it in its task as a multi-mission land attack and littoral dominance warship. In addition, it's the first US Navy ship with an integrated power system capable of both providing propulsion and powering the next generation of directed energy weapons.

"We have looked forward to pulling into San Diego for a long time," said USS Zumwalt Commanding Officer Capt. James A. Kirk. "I can't express enough, how proud I am of the crew's hard work in bringing Zumwalt to the West Coast."

The break-in period will continue as Zumwalt will now begin installation of combat systems, testing and evaluation, and operation integration with the fleet.

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