The construction of the $3.5 billion Zumwalt, set to be the U.S. Navy’s largest destroyer ever built, is on time and on schedule, The Associated Press reported on Oct. 20.
David Sharp writes that the Zumwalt’s christening last week was cancelled due to the federal shutdown but is expected to be moved to dry dock and floated in the next few days.
For the project, General Dynamics subsidiary Bath Iron Works constructed a 106-foot $40 million “Ultra Hall” to house the ship’s hull segments, which are 100 feet longer than existing destroyers.
The ship can produce 78 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 78,000 homes, and is expected to be used for shore bombardment.
It will also have a wave-piercing hull, electric drive propulsion, advanced sonar, guided missiles and a gun that fires rocket-propelled warheads as far as 100 miles.
According to the article, the destroyer will only need 158 crew to operate which is about half the amount of other destroyers.
“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.
“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,” he added.