The USS Zumwalt was commissioned on Sunday, officially making it the largest and stealthiest destroyer ever to be built for the U.S. Navy. The 610 foot destroyer is now the largest ship of its kind. It weighs in at a massive 15,000 tons and, despite being the largest destroyer in the Navy, will carry a crew of only 147 service members. Extensive automation and technological leaps and bounds allow the Zumwalt to have the smallest crew of any destroyer built since the 1930’s.
The commissioning can be watched in its entirely below:
The ship is so advanced and futuristic that some service members have taken to calling the Zumwalt the “Batman Ship.” Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., commander of the US Pacific Command told CNN:
“If Batman had a ship, it would be the USS Zumwalt,”
The Zumwalt implements the latest technology from its advanced wave-piercing hull to its 80 missile tubes that are outfitted to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, standard surface-to-air missiles and anti-submarine rockets. The gun system is capable of launching up to 600 rocket-powered missiles at targets up to 70 miles away with the help of advanced radar sensors that are hidden under the composite deck. It’s all powered by on-board technology that generates 78 megawatts, or enough energy to power a small city.
The ship cost approximately $4.4 billion to build. Navy officials plan to make the USS Zumalt earn its keep by taking on the most challenging missions the U.S. military faces. Captain James A. Kirk is ready for any challenges that come his way. He stated during the ceremony:
“Zumwalt is today a technological marvel. When deployed, our Navy and nation will have … a multi-mission destroyer with the stealth survivability and combat power to take on our most challenging missions,”
The timing of the ships commissioning comes just days after the USS Mason was targeted by Houthi rebel missiles. The USS Zumwalt is the first of three Zumwalt class destroyers being built for the U.S. Navy. The next two Zumwalt class destroyers, the Michael Moonsor and the Lyndon B. Johnson, are currently under construction at BIW.