The US Navy’s Most Intimidating Creation Yet Just Hit The Water

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An artist rendering of the Zumwalt class destr...

An artist rendering of the Zumwalt class destroyer DDG 1000, a new class of multi-mission U.S. Navy surface combatant ship designed to operate as part of a joint maritime fleet, assisting Marine strike forces ashore as well as performing littoral, air and sub-surface warfare. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An artist rendering of the Zumwalt class destr...

An artist rendering of the Zumwalt class destroyer DDG 1000, a new class of multi-mission U.S. Navy surface combatant ship designed to operate as part of a joint maritime fleet, assisting Marine strike forces ashore as well as performing littoral, air and sub-surface warfare. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Artist's conception of the USS Zumwalt, the le...

Artist’s conception of the USS Zumwalt, the lead ship of the planned Zumwalt class of destroyer for the U.S. Navy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) Design

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) Design (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The US Navy’s Most Intimidating Creation Yet Just Hit The Water

The Navy just put its newest destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, into the sea.

Constructed by General Dynamics with weapons systems and software from other companies, the Zumwalt “DDG-1000” Guided Missile Destroyer is like the iPhone 6 of naval ships.

Its “tumblehome” hull avoids enemy radar while composite armor absorbs it, advanced weaponry strikes from more than 100 miles offshore, Linux-based networking in the bridge allows for purchase and implementation of off-the-shelf software, and an all-electric drive system keeps her purring quietly like a well-fed tiger.

Lucky for America’s rivals, at about 87 percent completion, the Zumwalt is not quite ready to start making the rest of the globe flinch yet.

The USS Zumwalt hit the water Oct. 29 and is due to start patrolling by 2014.

The USS Zumwalt hit the water Oct. 29 and is due to start patrolling by 2014.

Michael C. Nutter via U.S. Navy

The Zumwalt was originally estimated to cost about $3.8 billion, but so much technology was crammed onboard that its cost has nearly doubled, and after the first three are built, production will stop.

With all the new weapons systems the Navy wants aboard the Zumwalt, planners installed a power plant that could provide power to 78,000 homes (around 78 megawatts).

Such power could enable the first uses of the Navy’s magnetic rail gun project, which combines magnetic currents and electric fields to fire projectiles at 7 times the speed of sound.

Such power could enable the first uses of the Navy's magnetic rail gun project, which combines magnetic currents and electric fields to fire projectiles at 7 times the speed of sound.

Michael C. Nutter via U.S. Navy

Computers and automation have reduced the crew to a bare bones 158. (By comparison, the USS Barry Arleigh-Burke Class requires 210 sailors.)

Sean Gallagher of Arstechnica referred to the Linux-powered bridge as a “floating data center” and wrote that it was akin to the bridge on Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise.

On the outside, the USS Zumwalt not only looks cool (rule #1), but it’s a full 100 feet longer than existing classes of destroyer.

On the outside, the USS Zumwalt not only looks cool (rule #1), but it's a full 100 feet longer than existing classes of destroyer.

Michael C. Nutter via U.S. Navy

According to the Navy’s press release, “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.”

According to the Navy's press release, "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."

Michael C. Nutter via U.S. Navy

The hull of the ship is made of a composite material which effectively absorbs radar waves.

The hull of the ship is made of a composite material which effectively absorbs radar waves.

Michael C. Nutter via U.S. Navy

Construction of the ship required General Dynamics to build a special $40 million “Ultra Hall” to hold the pieces.

Construction of the ship required General Dynamics to build a special $40 million "Ultra Hall" to hold the pieces.

Michael C. Nutter via U.S. Navy

The Zumwalt’s weaponry is tailored for land attack and close-to-coast dominance and will also have a sensor and weapons suite optimized for littoral warfare and for network-centric warfare.

The Zumwalt's weaponry is tailored for land attack and close-to-coast dominance and will also have a sensor and weapons suite optimized for littoral warfare and for network-centric warfare.

US Navy

BAE Systems Land and Armaments developed the ship’s advanced gun system (AGS), which will be able to fire advanced munitions and the Zumwalt Class vessels have two landing spots for helicopters.

BAE Systems Land and Armaments developed the ship's advanced gun system (AGS), which will be able to fire advanced munitions and the Zumwalt Class vessels have two landing spots for helicopters.

US Navy

Zumwalt has a peripheral vertical launch system (PVLS), which consists of 20 four-cell PVLS situated round the perimeter of the deck.

Zumwalt has a peripheral vertical launch system (PVLS), which consists of 20 four-cell PVLS situated round the perimeter of the deck.

US Navy

The ship also has space for two medium-lift helicopter systems.

The ship also has space for two medium-lift helicopter systems.

And finally, the new Long Range Attack Projectile (LRAP) — The DDG 1000 will be armed with tactical tomahawks, standard missile SM-3s, and the evolved SeaSparrow missile.

And finally, the new Long Range Attack Projectile (LRAP) — The DDG 1000 will be armed with tactical tomahawks, standard missile SM-3s, and the evolved SeaSparrow missile.

US Navy

With the “tumblehome” hull reducing drag and radar detection, along with such advanced weapons, it’s like the Zumwalt is the Navy SEAL of ships — always operating under cover of night, a ninja of the sea.

With the "tumblehome" hull reducing drag and radar detection, along with such advanced weapons, it's like the Zumwalt is the Navy SEAL of ships — always operating under cover of night, a ninja of the sea.

Michael C. Nutter via U.S. Navy

You’ve seen the likes of a Navy’s newest toy …

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/zumwalt-destroyer-navy-2013-10?op=1#ixzz2koo0QBNm

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