The USS Zumwalt underway during sea tests and trials in the Atlantic Ocean in December. Photo courtesy General Dynamics Bath Iron Works
The USS Zumwalt underway during sea tests and trials in the Atlantic Ocean in December. Photo courtesy General Dynamics Bath Iron Works

The Navy will commission the first of a series of futuristic, stealth destroyers in Baltimore on Saturday before the new ship heads to San Diego.

The USS Zumwalt features quiet, all-electric propulsion, placement of 80 rocket launch tubes around the perimeter of the vessel, and two advanced guns capable of firing projectiles 63 nautical miles.

The ship is named in honor of Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., former chief of naval operations from 1970 to 1974. During his time as CNO, Zumwalt embraced technological innovation and quality-of-life improvements for Navy personnel.

“DDG-1000 is one of the most innovative and technologically-advanced ships our Navy has built and it is this spirit of innovation, this commitment to forward thinking and the ability of our Navy and its sailors to see beyond the horizon that we honor as we commission the USS Zumwalt,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “Just as DDG-1000 is the first of its class, so too was Adm. Elmo Zumwalt.”

The 610-foot-long Zumwalt-class ships will much larger than today’s destroyers, fielding a considerably larger flight deck to operate with F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, MV-22 Ospreys and unmanned systems. The ship generates almost as much electric power as an aircraft carrier for use with future weapons, such as high-energy lasers.

All of the Zumwalt-class ships are expected to be based in San Diego or elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region as the Navy continues to shift its forces to that area.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.