STEALTHY: The USS Zumwalt is undergoing a series of tests in the Atlantic Ocean.
STEALTHY: The USS Zumwalt is undergoing a series of tests in the Atlantic Ocean. Us Navyafp

US spends billions on futuristic destroyer

HIGH-tech "stealth" destroyer the USS Zumwalt has been taken out to sea for a series of trials.

Shipbuilder Bath Iron Works and the US Navy have reportedly invested about $6 billion and spent more than four years making the futuristic vessel.

It is the largest destroyer-class ship ever built for the US Navy - yet casts a radar reflection about the same size as a commercial fishing boat - can exceed 55kmh and packs plenty of punch as well.

It has two deck guns that can fire self-guided missiles about 100km towards a target and a peripheral vertical launch system that enables a large battery of missiles to be fired at a designated targets.

It can be operated by a crew of only 148.

Testing will centre on the ship's computer and power systems and the performance of its unique hull design, with the bow angling inwards from the water to the deck.

The hull, deckhouse and other surfaces of the vessel have all been designed to reduce the vessel's radar "footprint".


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