USS Zumwalt passes downtown San Diego
The USS Zumwalt passes downtown San Diego last September. Navy photo

The futuristic guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt departed San Diego on Friday for its first operational cruise.

The Navy said the milestone demonstrates its commitment to advancing the lethality of U.S. surface combatants through the cutting-edge technologies in Zumwalt’s combat systems, weapons, and engineering plant.

“Zumwalt is designed for stealth,” said Capt. Andrew Carlson, the ship’s commanding officer. “This aids her role as a multi-mission surface combatant and improves the fleet commander’s options for delivery of naval combat power to meet the Navy’s emergent mission requirements.”

The stealthy ship’s mission is reportedly to hunt and kill other surface ships. It is 100 feet longer and 13 feet wider than an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, providing space for more weapons.

The Zumwalt is armed with 80 missiles of various types in vertical launch tubes around the hull, and two 155-caliber cannons, although those have been plagued by technical problems and may be replaced by new laser technology.

The second ship in the class, the recently commissioned USS Michael Monsoor, is also based in San Diego.

Chris Jennewein

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