- US Navy launched its largest destroyer ever for its maiden voyage on Monday
- The USS Zumwalt is built to a staggering $4.4-B cost, and is the most modern ship in the fleet
- The ship is named after a decorated Navy officer who died in 2000
The largest destroyer ever built for the United States Navy has set out for the first time on Monday, December 7, for its trial to undergo sea trials at the Atlantic Ocean.
The behemoth vessel that is USS Zumwalt was launched from shipbuilder Bath Iron Works in Maine before drifting along the Kennebec River on Monday morning towards the Atlantic.
The 610-foot long, 15,000-ton gigantic and futuristic vessel was built to the tune of $4.4-billion. It is 100-feet longer and 20-feet wider than the average USN destroyers currently in its fleet, and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and weaponry.
In fact, its technology is so advanced that it registers in radar as no bigger than the size of a small fishing boat.
Kelley Campana, a Bath Iron Works employee and one of the more than 200 people who got to witness the launching of the USS Zumwalt, told The Tampa Bay Times she had goose bumps and was nearly in tears after seeing the ship set out for the sea.
“This is pretty exciting. It’s a great day to be a shipbuilder and to be an American. It’s the first in its class. There’s never been anything like it. It looks like the future,” Campana said.
The ship’s skipper, Navy Captain James Kirk, meanwhile said he was “fired up” to see the herculean vessel finally head for its maiden voyage
“For the crew and all those involved in designing, building, and readying this fantastic ship, this is a huge milestone,” Capt. Kirk said in address before the ship departed.
The stealth destroyer started production back in 2009. It is equipped with a computer-guided missile system capable of hitting targets up to 63 miles away, and may eventually be built with a laser weapon or electromagnetic rail gun; before joining the Navy sometime next year.
The ship is named after Admiral Elmo Zumwalt; a decorated Navy officer who died in 2000.