The United States Navy has commissioned a new stealth destroyer, which is being hailed as one of the most technologically advanced warships in the world.
Dubbed the “USS Zumwalt,” it offers both stealth capabilities and futuristic firepower. It’s 610 feet long, weighs 15,000 tons, and has a projected cost of $4.4 billion, according to the Associated Press. As shown in the photo to the left, it has smooth edges, which presumably gives the USS Zumwalt superior stealth capabilities when compared to traditional destroyers and vessels.
When announcing the USS Zumwalt, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said it was part of a larger initiative by the U.S. military to increase operational stability. The Navy, along with the Marines, are a key component of the U.S. military’s strength, and Mabus believes the addition of the USS Zumwalt will further strengthen its power and reach.
“This ship is an example of a larger initiative to increase operational stability and give the U.S. a strategic advantage,” said Ray Mabus, the secretary of the Navy “Our Navy and our Marine Corps, uniquely, provide presence — around the globe, around the clock — ensuring stability, reassuring allies, deterring adversaries, and providing the nation’s leaders with options in times of crisis.”
Being that it’s such an advanced ship, you may assume that it requires a substantial amount of manpower to operate. A Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, for instance, requires around 6,000 personnel, sometimes more. Of course, the USS Zumwalt isn’t an aircraft carrier. Rather, it’s a stealth destroyer. But you might be surprised to learn just how few personnel it requires to operate. In a report published by the Associate Press, it revealed that the USS Zumwalt needs a relatively small crew of just 147 crewmen and women. This is largely because of its automated systems, which are integrated throughout the ship.
In terms of firepower, the USS Zumwalt doesn’t disappoint. It’s equipped with a variety of weapons, some of which are reported to include traditional cruise missiles and anti-submarine rockets. The USS Zumwalt also has an on-board power system, which is believed to produce roughly 78 megawatts of power. To put that number into perspective, 78 megawatts is almost the capacity of a nuclear-powered carrier.
You might be wondering how the ship received its namesake. The USS Zumwalt is named after the U.S. Navy Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr., who served for more than 30 years before passing in 2000.