The ultimate destroyer – “USS Zumwalt”
In December 2015, the “USS Zumwalt” – the world's most modern and largest destroyer – left the Bath Iron Works shipyard in the US state of Maine for its first sea trials. The leading ship in the new Zumwalt class has the dimensions of a cruiser, but can make itself almost invisible.
How can a destroyer 182.9 m long, 24.6 m wide and with a displacement of more than 15,000 t shrink to the size of a harmless fishing boat on radar screens? It's possible because the “USS Zumwalt” is equipped with revolutionary cloaking / stealth technology, which is also responsible for the futuristic design.
Meanwhile, its capabilities – over 80 launching platforms, four cannons of different types and four launch pads for helicopters or drones – are anything but harmless. Additional weaponry is still in development, but the facilities needed to operate the very latest weapon systems such as laser cannons are already in place.
The ship has a standard crew of 158 and was designed for coastal patrols and attacking targets on land. On the open seas, it can reach a top speed of more than 30 knots. The all-electric engine is supplied by a total of four gas turbines with a combined output of 78 MW.
Powerful technology was also needed for the compressors. For the first stealth destroyer, Sauer Compressors USA Inc. supplied a total of four Sauer-Compressors in a special navy design.
There are plans for two more ships in the new destroyer class, which is named after General Elmo R. Zumwalt, an important figure in the Vietnam War. Appropriately for a ship that looks like something from a science fiction film, the “USS Zumwalt” is commanded by Captain James Kirk.