The new generation stealth destroyer Zumwalt, first unit of the eponymous class of the US Navy, will soon finalize the installation of its combat system, according to a source cited by the site Defensenews.com, allowing the ship to finally be declared operational, almost 4 years after entering service. Ordered in 2016 from BAe for $192 million, this combat system will allow the crew to merge sensor data with data from weapon systems and communication systems, so as to make the ship autonomous and effective at fight.
But the Zumwalt, like the class of destroyers that bears its name, is no more than the ghost of the ambitions of the US Navy that it represented. Launched in 2005, the Zumwalt program was to build 32 new generation destroyers, incorporating the best of the different technologies that equip combat ships, and intended to take control of maritime space, provide incomparable fire support to the forces of landing and ground forces engaged. In this sense, the Zumwalt fell much more within the definition of a cruiser than a destroyer, its dimensions of 190 m long and its displacement of more than 15,000 tonnes confirming this classification. But the strangeness of the Zumwalt classification is unfortunately only an epiphenomenon as the program turned out to be disastrous.
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