The U.S. Navy's new futuristic stealth ship will boldly go where no man has gone before in more ways than one.
Navy Capt. James A. Kirk is the likely pick as the inaugural commander of the Navy's new sleek, angular USS Zumwalt, the first Zumwalt Class destroyer launched from a shipyard in Bath, Maine on Oct. 28. The ship is designed for land attack missions and littoral operations, or "vanilla platforms" that can accommodate a variety of missions such as mine-sweeping or anti-submarine warfare.
Yahoo News first reported that Kirk will likely take to the Zumwalt's bridge. The Bethesda, Md. native graduated from the Naval Academy in 1990 as a Surface Warfare officer, serving currently as the executive assistant to the director of Surface Warfare. He has previously served aboard destroyers, cruisers and frigates, according to his Navy bio.
The Zumwalt is the largest ship ever constructed at the Bath shipyard, according to the Navy. Program manager Capt. Jim Downey said the project is "unprecedented in both its size and complexity."
The ship is designed to provide "independent forward presence and deterrence" as well as support special operations commandos and expeditionary forces. Its shape, with angular sides sloping down toward the waterline, helps it maintain a low profile on radar.
Construction continues on the Zumwalt – named for former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt – at a pier on the Kennebec River.
The shipyard will deliver the USS Zumwalt to the Navy in late 2014, when sea trials will begin. The Navy expects to conclude those by 2016.