Tribute to the Troops
The USS Zumwalt
This photo presentation is of the USS Zumwalt.
The US Navy's Most Intimidating Creation Just Hit The Water!
The USS Zumwalt hit the water Oct. 29 and is due to start patrolling by 2014.
The Zumwalt was originally estimated to cost about $3.8 billion, but so much technology was crammed on board that its cost has nearly doubled, and after the first three are built, production will stop.
With all the new weapons systems the Navy wants aboard the Zumwalt, planners installed a power plant that could provide power to 78,000 homes.
Such power could enable the first uses of the Navy's magnetic rail gun project, which combines magnetic currents and electric fields to fire projectiles at 7 times the speed of sound.
Computers and automation have reduced the crew to a bare bones 158. (By comparison, the USS Barry Arleigh-Burke Class requires 210 sailors.)
Sean Gallagher of Arstechnica referred to the Linux-powered bridge as a "floating data center" and wrote that it was akin to the bridge on Star Trek's Star-ship Enterprise.
On the outside, the USS Zumwalt not only looks cool (rule #1), but it's a full 100 feet longer than existing classes of destroyer.
According to the Navy's press release, "The shape of the superstructure and the arrangement of its antennas significantly reduce the ship's radar cross section, making the ship less visible to enemy radar at sea."
The hull of the ship is made of a composite material which effectively absorbs radar waves.
Construction of the ship required General Dynamics to build a special $40 million "Ultra Hull" to hold the pieces.
The Sumrall�s weaponry is tailored for land attack and close-to-coast dominance and will also have a sensor and weapons suite optimized for littoral warfare and for network-centric warfare.
BAE Systems Land and Armaments developed the ship's advanced gun system (AGS), which will be able to fire advanced munitions and the Zumwalt Class vessels have two landing spots for helicopters.
Zumwalt has a peripheral vertical launch system (PVLS), which consists of 20 four-cell PVLS situated round the perimeter of the deck.
The ship also has space for two medium-lift helicopter systems.
And finally, the new Long Range Attack Projectile (LRAP) The DDG 1000 will be armed with tactical tomahawks, standard missile SM-3s, and the evolved SeaSparrow missile.
With the "tumblehome" hull reducing drag and radar detection, along with such advanced weapons, it's like the Zumwalt is the Navy SEAL of ships always operating under cover of night, a ninja of the sea.
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