Friday, April 18, 2014

U.S. Navy to deploy new $7B high-tech destroyer

The USS Zumwalt, a $7 billion high-tech U.S. Navy stealth destroyer to be christened on Saturday, is equipped with an array of special capabilities unique to the fleet.

The Zumwalt DDG-1000, built by General Dynamics, will be the Navy's largest destroyer. Its technology can target submarines, minefields, and shore defenses with low-altitude missiles, artillery, and even an electromagnetic rail gun that's currently still in testing mode.

The ship is outfitted with a standard "bridge" that has state-of-the art consoles and communications equipment, integrating an innovative secure networking element that lets the ship's captain control systems from anywhere on the vessel.

Virtually invisible in the water, the destroyer would appear on an enemy radar screen as a small fishing boat. It also features Raytheon's Integrated Undersea Warfare sonar.

The Zumwalt is designed for sustained operations against targets at sea or on land and to support of special operations forces. The ship has enough power and tech on board to drop in systems that are still in testing mode, such as laser weapons, rail guns, and advanced radar tracking for ballistic missiles.

"The christening of the future USS Zumwalt represents the beginning of another era of service for this great name," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in a statement. "Just as Admiral Elmo R. 'Bud' Zumwalt helped shape our nation's Navy as the 19th chief of naval operations, DDG-1000 will help shape the future of surface combatants."

The new vessel class was conceived to replace decommissioned Spruance-class destroyers, but it's so expensive, only three have been ordered.

The ship will be delivered to the Navy later this year. Following a barrage of trials, it will likely go into operation in 2016.

For more of the Business Insider story:

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