National Security

US Navy Commissions Biggest, Most Expensive Destroyer Ever

U.S. Navy photo/James E. Foehl

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Thomas Phippen Associate Editor
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The U.S. Navy commissioned the biggest, most expensive, most technologically advanced destroyer ship in the fleet Saturday in Baltimore, Md.

The $4.4 billion dollar ship has an inverted hull that makes it difficult to track on radar, is powered by gas turbines and carries an advanced missile system. The ship’s rear deck is large enough to eventually accommodate landing of the Marine’s F-35B.

“If Batman had a ship, it would be the USS Zumwalt,” Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, told CNN. The USS Zumwalt, first of its class, will sail to San Diego, Calif., to have its defense capabilities activated.

“Zumwalt is today a technological marvel. When deployed, our Navy and nation will have … a multi-mission destroyer with the stealth survivability and combat power to take on our most challenging missions,” Capt. James A. Kirk, the first commander of the USS Zumwalt, said at the commissioning ceremony.

The commissioning comes just days after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels allegedly fired missiles at another Navy destroyer, the USS Mason, which was sailing a routine patrol of the Red Sea. (RELATED: Iranian Militia FIRES On US Destroyer At Sea)

Construction on the Zumwalt first began in 2008, and the ship was supposed to be delivered in 2013, but the construction was delayed. The program also cost around $450 million more than expected due to the “effect of shipyard production and test challenges,” according to a Pentagon report on the construction earlier this year.

The ship got its name from Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., who won a Bronze Star for his service in World War II. He was a medical officer during the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. Zumwalt then served in the wars in Korea and Vietnam, and was the chief of naval operations between 1970 and 1974.

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