Once more it sounds like the last spaceship from the Star Wars saga, or the ship of some hostile clans fighting the USS Enterprise. No, it is real, it is a real piece of future delivered to the US navy.
A sort of iper-tech hull which features super advanced stealth capabilities (the main reason for its strange shape of “giant knife”) and a high automation level (it requires less than one half of the crew of a similar warships). The Zumwalt is built to carry railguns and laser weapons (when they will actually exist) and reintroduces the old fashion so called “tumblehome” hull form.
The angles and the surfaces of its body have the proper angular profile for stealth, thus the “small” crew (at least 130 people) shall spend the great majority of its time inside the hull, inside that sort of grey pyramid. The hull features, of course, also a landing pad in the back sufficient to host two helicopters or a swarm of drones. Weapons seem never enough: two 155mm guns, a couple of 30mm gunsand 20 missile system bays that can hold at least four missiles each.
The ships are built around a first-ever electric drive system in which the main engines power an electrical grid instead a direct link to the ship’s props allowing more margin to add additional systems to the ships.
To me the Zumwalt looks like a submarine that has accidentally forgot to move under the water.
PS. Of course…
The committee understands there is no prospect of being able to design and build the two lead ships for the $6.6 billion budgeted. The committee is concerned that the navy is attempting to insert too much capability into a single platform. As a result, the DD(X) is now expected to displace over 14,000 tons and by the navy’s estimate, cost almost $3.3 billion each.
Originally 32 ships were planned, with the $9.6 billion research and development costs spread across the class, but the quantity was reduced to 24, then to 7, and finally to 3, greatly increasing the cost-per-ship. The USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) is the first Zumwalt delivered to the US Navy by the Bath Iron Works in Baltimore; two more destroyers are under construction.