USS Zumwalt … Navy file picture … Concept view of the USS Zumwalt class destroyer (DDG-1000), image from http://peoships.crane.navy.mil
On Monday, the Navy launched the new USS Zumwalt into Maine’s Kennebec River for the first time. Originally designed simply for shore bombardment, the ship is now intended to serve multiple purposes, including backing up Marines on clandestine missions.
The massive Zumwalt – which is 100 feet longer than the Navy’s current class of destroyers – features unique angles that deflect radar, advanced sonar and guided missiles, and has a new type of gun that shoots rocket-powered warheads up to 100 miles.
“The concept of the Zumwalt is sort of a bridge between the traditions of the past and the new world of networked warfare and precision guided munitions,” said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute, according to Fox News. “It’s not so much a radical concept as it is an attempt to pull off a full range of missions with a ship that has one foot in the present and one foot in the future.”