BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The most expensive, and potentially lethal destroyer the U.S. Navy has ever built, is headed to Baltimore.
The U.S.S. Zumwalt is coming here to be formally commissioned into service.
It looked different from the beginning, and only grew stranger looking when finished.
The U.S.S. Zumwalt is the Navy’s newest generation destroyer — a $4.4 billion weapon.
“This vessel is one and a half times the size of our previous class of vessel, but it’s operated by about half the crew,” says Capt. James Kirk. “The way that’s done is with a lot of automation with a very sophisticated network.”
When Capt. Kirk (yes, that’s his real name) graduated from the Naval Academy in 1990, the Zumwalt wasn’t even on the drawing board yet. But the Navy wanted a 21st century destroyer with high tech electronics, propulsion and weapons systems.
And, it had to have stealth technology.
“To be a much harder vessel to detect, to track and potentially attack,” Kirk says.
Meaning it can hit targets 70 miles away and not be seen.
But next month it will get plenty of attention when it’s commissioned in Baltimore during Fleet Week.
It will then sail to its home port in San Diego.
“There’s three things it takes to be a sailor on the Zumwalt, and it’s a high level of technical expertise, great teamwork happily sharing the burdens with one another,” Kirk says. “And then toughness, it has taken a great deal of mental, physical toughness.”