The previously postponed christening ceremony of the US Navy’s technology flagship took place at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine on 12 April. The future USS Zumwalt will pioneer a range of new state-of-the-art technologies, the development and integration of which has driven project costs to more than US$12 billion for just three ships.

The 16,000-tonne destroyers were conceived as a replacement for the naval surface fire support lost when the four World War II Iowa class battleships were decommissioned for the second time. Each ship will feature two 155mm Advanced Gun Systems that can fire a GPS-guided rocket-assisted round out to a range of 64 nautical miles. They are also equipped with a new Mk.57 Peripheral Vertical Launch System (PVLS) with 80 cells engineered around the boundary of the hull that can launch Tomahawk and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles.

Other new technologies include a SPY-3 multi-function radar and all-electric propulsion with an Integrated Power System providing up to 78 megawatts of electrical power.

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