The US Navy is developing a new class of guided missile destroyers known as Zumwalt. Designed as a multi-role ship, the main focus will be on land attack. State-of-the-art stealth technology is incorporated into the design, which will result in the radar signature being similar to a fishing boat, despite being over 40% larger than the current Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, which is 510 feet long.
It will be constructed out of composite materials, and features a tumblehome wave piercing hull. Water sleeting along the sides, in addition to passive cool air induction in the mack, lead to reduced thermal emissions.
Many of you probably remember the WW2-era destroyers and battleships that employed dozens of large-caliber cannons to provide naval fire support, and have probably noticed the absence of such large cannons on today’s ships in place of guided rockets. The Zumwalt class of destroyers has a planned naval surface fire support role and will have two 155mm guns. They will fire guided artillery shells that can travel 63 nautical miles inland. It will also be built to house the new electromagnetic railgun that is being developed by the navy.
An interesting article on the Zumwalt can be found here.
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