Navy’s New Stealth Destroyer to Test Fire Missiles Next Year

    Kris Osborn


    The activation process for USS Zumwalt development includes calm and heavy weather examinations to further verify the ship’s stability.

    The question how the ship handles and maneuvers in the water has received attention in recent years, given that it utilizes a cutting-edge, wave-piercing Tumblehome Hull technology for increased performance in certain key respects. Some observers and news reports have raised the question, citing various sea states and structural nuances, that the hull might not be able to achieve the requisite amount stability needed for a full range of mission sets.

    Navy developers of the new USS Zumwalt high-tech, stealthy destroyer are widening the mission envelope for the ship, exploring new ammunition for its guns and preparing to fire its first missile next year, service program managers said.

    The new ship, engineered with a sleek, radar-evading design, was initially conceived of in terms of primarily engineering a shallow-water land attack platform. While the ship was envisioned as a multi-mission platform at its inception, current emerging threats and new technology have led Navy strategists to scope a wider strategic view for the ship.

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    In particular, given the rapid evolution of targeting technology and advanced long-range precision weaponry, particularly those being developed by near-peer adversaries, the strategic calculus informing maritime warfare is changing quickly.

    “The aim of the ship will focus on surface strike. Long range surface ship platform in contrast to a previous look at a littoral platform able to launch suppressive fire in close to land,” Capt. Kevin Smith, DDG 1000 Program Manager, told reporters at the Surface Navyl Association symposium.

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