Zumwalt Destroyer, Most Futuristic Of Navy Ships, Now Ready For Battle [PHOTOS]
The Zumwalt destroyer, a silent and deadly addition to the Navy's arsenal, is ready for battle after its christening Saturday at the Bath Iron Works in Maine.
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This $3.5-billion bad boy is one of the most technologically advanced boats every built. At 600 feet, the new Zumwalt DDG1000 is twice the size of its aging destroyer peers but requires a crew only half the size because of its robot-like efficiencies, according to Raytheon, the defense contractor that designed its infrastructure. In October, the Navy said it had floated the vessel for the first time, but it was still only 87 percent finished.
Now, the champagne bottle has been cracked over the bow, and it's ready to start hurling long-range missiles at enemy combatants up to 72 miles away. Because it's a stealth destroyer, they'll have no idea what hit them. The ship was designed to lack right angles and protruding pipes and gadgets. Those things are dead giveaways for radar systems, which beam sound waves and listen for the waves to bounce back. Zumwalt's sleek frame foils the echo. It's quiet on the ears, too, because of its electric engine. In that sense, the Zumwalt is like a big floating Toyota Prius with 155 mm guns.
We got our hands on some pictures of the christening over the weekend:
Above photos courtesy of the Raytheon Company
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