BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Port of Baltimore is gearing up for a huge ceremony this weekend. The USS Zumwalt docked last week — and will be commissioned right in Baltimore this weekend as part of Fleet Week. Devin Bartolotta got a sneak peak aboard the ship Thursday morning.
More than 7,000 people are expected to attend the commissioning of the Zumwalt, a state-of-the-art ship with special ties to Maryland.
“Cutting edge” hardly describes the brand new, future USS Zumwalt.
“It’s a marvelous piece of technology, machine we have here,” said Zumwalt Commanding Officer Captain James Kirk.
Skye Eye Chopper 13 watched as the imposing vessel cruised into Baltimore for Maryland Fleet Week.
“Baltimore has a rich Naval heritage. As we know, our National Anthem was written just a few miles from where we sit,” said Captain Kirk.
The Zumwalt’s namesake has strong Maryland ties. It is named for Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. — an accomplished and admired Naval officer — who graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Zumwalt pushed for more inclusion of women and minorities in the military.
“Really opened up and made the Navy a more just and civil institution,” said Public Affairs Officer, Lt. Rick Moore.
The Zumwalt’s technology is unmatched. It is 600-feet-long, and one and a half times heavier than past generations of Naval ships.
“We have over 35,000 signals that are being taken, processed, displayed on the ship. That’s about five to ten times other classes of ships,” said Captain Kirk.
The new, sleek design of the Zumwalt makes it harder to detect on radar.
Thanks to automation, only 150 sailors will be on board — about half the staff of other ships.
After the Zumwalt is commissioned, it will make its way to San Diego for testing programs, installations and more training.
The USS Zumwalt was built in Maine. It cost $4.4 billion.