While the United States Navy is already the largest, most advanced sea-going force the world has ever seen, it got a bit more badass yesterday. In the Kennebec River, the U.S. Navy’s newest ship hit the cold Maine water. At 610 feet, she’s the largest destroyer in the fleet. Named for a famed officer, she’ll soon be in full service on the high seas.
Named for the late admiral and former Chief of Naval Operations, the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) will be the most advanced ship at sail when she’s fully commissioned in 2015. Her namesake, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. As Chief of Naval Operations, he changed regulations so that his men were permitted to grow longer hair, sideburns, and beards, in addition to creating provisions authorizing beer machines in barracks areas for his sailors. So, uh, TFM.
The Zumwalt, when completed, will be unlike any ship ever built. Although larger than ships with a similar role, the Zumwalt will have a much smaller crew than other vessels. While she’ll still pack one hell of a punch, much of the ship’s functions will be automated, allowing for a smaller complement of sailors.
The ship’s armament will make it more formidable than many other ships afloat, both in the U.S. Navy and those belonging to other, weaker countries. As one of the ship’s primary missions is shore bombardment, the Zumwalt will carry the 155mm Advanced Gun System, which can fire rocket-propelled high explosive rounds up to 100 miles, effectively ruining the bad guys’ day.
The ship will also carry advanced radar systems, cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, anti-submarine weapons, and advanced ship defense systems. As if that weren’t enough, the Zumwalt will also be able to carry up to two Seahawk helicopters, as well as multiple unmanned aerial vehicles. Pretty much, the Zumwalt is a floating can of whoop ass waiting to be opened on anyone dumb enough to mess with American interests at sea. Whether supporting land operations or patrolling the waters of the world, the Zumwalt will be able to kill anything it comes up against—which is about as American as it gets, guys.
The Zumwalt’s weapons aren’t the only thing that give her the cutting edge. Her angular appearance, low profile, lack of exposed antennas and masts, and construction of composite or “stealth” materials give the Zumwalt a lower radar signature. This, of course, makes the new vessel harder to detect, meaning the crew will be safer and will be able to kill the enemies of the United States of America without them evening knowing there’s a ship in their presence.
Unfortunately, due to the government shutdown, the Zumwalt wasn’t able to have a formal christening as planned. However, it’s hoped that one will be held in the near future. While the nobody knows immediate future for the Zumwalt, you can be sure that if anyone decides to fuck with America, she’ll be there to rain more death and destruction down on the enemy than entire navies of other countries could ever dream of. I’m no sailor, but even that gets me going a little.