According to Fox News, the stealthy USS Zumwalt, largest destroyer US Navy has ever built, will fire its first missiles next year and the developers of this high-tech destroyer are widening the mission envelope while exploring a new range of weapons to better prepare the ship for future warfare against technically advanced enemies.
The destroyer will fire an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and SM-2 in 2019 from its Mk 57 Vertical Launch Systems, marking the first time the new ship will fire weapons as part of its ongoing combat activation process.
The new ship is engineered with a sleek, radar-evading design. The ship was envisioned as a multi-mission platform at its inception, however, current emerging threats and new technology have led Navy strategists to scope a wider strategic view for the ship.
According to Business Insider, the US Navy has also been considering equipping the Zumwalt with nuclear cruise missiles, Maritime Strike Tomahawks, SM-6 missiles, and even lasers.
This 610 feet long and 80.7 feet wide warship, launched in October 2013, is built by shipbuilder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) and is designed to perform a range of deterrence, power-projection, sea-control, and command-and-control missions.
It's also the Navy's first surface ship with all-electric propulsion, powered by two main-turbine generators, two auxiliary-turbine generators, and two Rolls-Royce 34.6 MW advanced induction motors, which provide all the energy needed to run the propulsion, electronics, and weapons systems. This system can bring the Zumwalt to a top speed of nearly 35 mph. It might also one day be able accommodate the Marine Corps' variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B.
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