The US navy is ready to take ownership of the Zumwalt, its largest and most technologically sophisticated destroyer.
Sailors’ uniforms and personal effects, supplies and spare parts are being moved aboard the 610-foot (186m) warship in anticipation of crew members taking on their new charge, said the destroyer’s skipper.
The Zumwalt is the first new class of warship built at Bath Iron Works since the Arleigh Burke slid into the Kennebec river in 1989. The shipyard is expected to turn the destroyer over to the navy this week.
“We’ve overcome lots of obstacles to get to this point,” said electrician John Upham, of Litchfield. “I think everybody in the shipyard is proud of the work we’ve done.”
The ship features an angular shape that makes it 50 times more difficult to detect on radar; it’s powered by electricity produced by turbines similar to those in a Boeing 777; new guns are designed to pummel targets from nearly 100 miles away (160kms). Advanced automation will allow the big ship to operate with a much smaller crew than on current generation of destroyers.
The final cost of the Zumwalt is expected to be at least $4.4bn.