back to article US Navy's newest ship sets sail with Captain James Kirk at the bridge

The US Navy's largest destroyer has finally set sail. And at its helm is Captain James Kirk. The USS Zumwalt, named after Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, has embarked on its first open ocean trials after eight years of construction. The $4bn Zumwalt is at the cutting edge of technology and will be the first of three in its class ( …

  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    One missile hit and it's all over.

    its gentle sloping sides are good for deflecting projectiles

    Those must be softballs. The times of iron walls are long past gone.

    Today's "projectiles" aka autonomous missiles, hypersonic or otherwise, will transform this silly radar-evading contraption into a rapidly expanding shell of debris and fleshy parts.

    A couple of "terrorists" (even though they attacked a clear military target) ripped the destroyer USS Cole a new one with just a dinghy and some plastic explosives ... of course this gave the US a good occasion to demand money from any and all members of the momentary axis of evil, as the Empire is wont to do, but I digress.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

      Yes but it should be safe from enemies in land locked Afghanistan

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

      This is not a battle tank. The sloping sides deflect radar beams, not projectiles. The author really ought to read up a little on the subject first.

      The idea behind the flat slopes is to reflect radar beams in one or two directions, which are usually not back toward the radar dish. Anything to avoid curves that reflect widely.

      I guess the hope is that incoming cruise missiles can be more easily distracted by decoys when the primary target ping is so small. I bet the ship carries a number of drone boats with outsized radar signatures, and drives them around randomly along with the ship itself when in danger. The approaching missile would have no way to know which ping is the real target.

      1. Mark 85

        Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

        The problem is "where's the targeting radar"? At sea level or low altitude this angled side ought to work pretty well. If the targeting radar is airborne at a good altitude to minimize the angle, it might get back a better signal.. but then there's the decoys.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          is airborne at a good altitude to minimize the angle, it might get back a better signal

          Maybe - in a flat sea. Waves do reflect radar waves very well, and these surfaces may look like them....

    3. a_yank_lurker

      Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

      Actually sloping sides increase armors effectiveness. However, I doubt the Zumwalt has any real armor. Modern warships designs are unbalanced with more offensive capability than they can absorb.

      As to the Cole, her damage and near sinking shows the weakness of unbalanced designs. In boxing she would be described as having a glass jaw.

      1. P. Lee

        Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

        >In boxing she would be described as having a glass jaw.

        Or in mmorpg's, "a glass cannon."

      2. MondoMan

        Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

        Aside from the ship sinking, the other worry about a single hit is that a hit to a magazine will effectively disarm the ship by destroying most of its missiles.

        The Zumwalt design deals with this in two ways: 1) The VLS missile pods are dispersed around the perimeter of the ship next to the hull, rather than being centralized and concentrated as in other USN ships, and 2) taking a page from modern tank ammunition storage design, the hull-side armor of the VLS pods is significantly thinner than the interior-side armor; any explosion in a pod should vent most of its force and projectiles outside the ship rather than towards the inhabited interior spaces.

      3. Dan Wilkie

        Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

        Not strictly true... Modern warships are thin hulled as it's better for defending against anti-ship missiles. If you have big armour belts then the missile hits it, detonates, and you have all the shock damage and spalling to deal with. The intention is that a high velocity missile will pass through the thin sides of the ship before detonating, thus punching a big hole and not doing much else.

        I think the jury is out as to whether it works in practice, I guess there's not really been any empirical side by side comparison tests...

        It's the age old military problem of fighting the last war though. If we were to start armouring all our ships again, you could guarantee that next time we'd be facing enemies making widespread use of anti ship missiles again.

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

          @Dan_Wilkie I guess there's not really been any empirical side by side comparison tests...

          Nothing recently, although our Royal Navy did their bit for live practice back in '82. HMS Sheffield, for example.

          The point is these craft are normally a missile picket for the capital ships (aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships etc). They're armed to down any attacker and put up a good fight, but ultimately their role is to take the missile instead of their big sister.

          1. JLV

            >to take the missile instead of their big sister

            Given its cost co$$$$t doubt the Zumwalt is as disposable as that. Though in historical terms you are precisely correct. This race upwards in capability and cost, downwards in numbers, is gonna cost Western armies dear as second tier opponents scale up to good-enough.

            Hopefully we won't get to see Chinese asymmetric developments in action (ex DF-21), because that competition will diffuse itself. But if we did, I find our platinum-plated approach worrying. Not the least because the only credible opponent motivating these systems is China which spurs more arms race.

            Good for defence firm revenues tho.

            1. MyffyW Silver badge

              Re: >to take the missile instead of their big sister

              An interesting point @JLV - the race downwards in numbers will get to the point that a raider has as much chance finding a capital ship as one of the missile pickets.

        2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

          Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

          In the battle off Samar in WW II, the Japanese armor-piercing projectiles did in fact pass through the thin decks and hulls of the escort carriers without detonating, at least in some cases.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

      Klingons on the Starboard bow, Scotty be me up.

      How fitting if Captain Kirk gets the command of the under construction USS Enterprise (CVN-80) in 2025.

      1. roytrubshaw

        Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

        "How fitting if Captain Kirk gets the command of the under construction USS Enterprise (CVN-80) in 2025."

        I would guess that, if he is still serving, they will give him command (whatever his rank as the commander of a ship is always 'Captain' when in command) just so that they have a Captain Kirk in command of the Enterprise.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

        'How fitting if Captain Kirk gets the command of the under construction USS Enterprise (CVN-80) in 2025.'

        The US Navy's publicists should move heaven and earth to make it happen - although they might melt the Internet if it were to happen.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

      The gentle sloping sides are to deflect radio waves, not projectiles.

      But you're post is contradiction - a big iron wall would have made the terrorist attack on Cole useless - if it had been, say, the Iowa, it wouldn't have had any real damage (but some hundreds kg of explosives are not "some plastic").

      And the idea of this class of ships it's exactly to make lock-on of autonomous missiles very hard (how do you believe they are autonomous?) - while being able also to down them with new weapons. Will it be successful? I do not know - but surely improved attack weapons needs improved - and sometimes wholly new - countermeasures as well.

    6. Bloakey1

      Re: One missile hit and it's all over.


      "A couple of "terrorists" (even though they attacked a clear military target) ripped the destroyer USS Cole a new one with just a dinghy and some plastic explosives ... of course this gave the US a good occasion to demand money from any and all members of the momentary axis of evil, as the Empire is wont to do, but I digress."

      At the time people thought it was a terrorist boat when in fact naval specialists declared it to be a Bin Liner .

    7. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: Destroyed All Braincells Re: One missile hit and it's all over.

      "its gentle sloping sides are good for deflecting projectiles....." Take a deep breath, try and control the hate, then go back and actually read the article, it says "its gentle sloping sides are good for minimising its radar signature", nothing about deflecting projectiles.

      "....The times of iron walls are long past gone...." If by "iron walls" you mean the old iron-clads then yes, if you mean the old battleships with their steel belts then that is debatable. What killed the old battleships was cost and the threat of Cold War nuke missiles - why pour so much money into a fleet of battleships when one nuke could take out an entire fleet? But in the 80s the USN used the WW2-era Iowa class battleships to shell terrorist positions around Beirut for two reasons - the ship's guns could out-range most missiles available to terrorists in Beirut, and the ship's armour could easily withstand the impact of a cruise missile hitting the side. Hilariously, the Russians spent millions of rubles developing anti-ship missiles that dive on the target just because of the old Iowas, but then the old ships were retired anyway!

      "....Today's "projectiles" aka autonomous missiles, hypersonic or otherwise, will transform this silly radar-evading contraption into a rapidly expanding shell of debris and fleshy parts....." The idea of the tech is to make the ship harder to find and shoot at on the open sea, the primary tool for such being radar. You can't hit what you can't see. And then, even if you can find it, if you have radar-guided anti-ship missiles then you could still be unable to hit it anyway.

      "....USS Cole...." The Cole was not attacked on the open sea but in a constricted waterway. It was also a one-off tactic as every navy in the World took note and doubled their short-range deck defences and rewrote their rules of engagement for potentially troublesome areas. The right rules of engagement and one M2 on a pintle mount would be enough to defeat a repeat of the Cole attack.

      ".....gave the US a good occasion to demand money from any and all members of the momentary axis of evil, as the Empire is wont to do...." Kool-aid overload detected!

      1. Chris Miller


        its gentle sloping sides are good for deflecting projectiles

        The article has been amended to replace the offending clause - it really did originally refer to deflecting missiles.

  2. Mage

    Bit retro?

    Reminds me of some of the old PRE Victorian dreadnaughts and ironclads.

    I'd not like to be in it if it's hit broadsides by a wave!

    1. Mystereed

      Re: Bit retro?

      Plus, if it ploughed into a wave going forward at speed, won't the shape of that bow cause it to dig it and submerge?

      So, is it actually a stealth submarine with a massive conning tower? :-)

      1. Hellcat

        Re: Bit retro?

        A bow like hers is less prone to heavy knocking when going through waves. This allows for the vessel to move faster without taking heavy impacts which tends to break stuff.

        I've seen more and more of these shape bows on ships including cargo vessels although I assume there is more to it than just fitting the bow on upside down.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward

    What do it do?

    This is a perfect example of the confluence of the military-industrial complex, the good old days of war mindset, and the right wing Congress wasting billions on equipment with no practical purpose. What would we ever use it for?

    As for its stealth technology, it's big enough that it's visible from space. Here is it under construction:,-69.8112929,234m/data=!3m1!1e3

    1. Field Commander A9

      Re: What do it do?

      Satellite recon is only good for stationary targets as it can only do a sweep every 8 hrs. Recon drones, on the other hand, can stay on station for much longer, but can be shot down by SM-6s... unless the drones are stealth too like the X-47B.

      1. waldo kitty

        Re: What do it do?

        Satellite recon is only good for stationary targets as it can only do a sweep every 8 hrs.

        really? you've never heard of geostationary or geosynchronous satellites? that's two different but similar things and there are some craft that maintain their position that are not orbiting at the equator... then there's the molniya orbit where one craft is on station all the time while another is moving off and a third one is arriving to take over... the point being that you can watch a site continuously from orbit without any lapse in viewing time...

        1. Swarthy

          Re: What do it do?

          Yes, you could keep a site under constant surveillance. Following a moving target with a satellite in GEO would be ..impractical. And as this is about a stealth-ish ship, I would assume it's going to move.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What do it do?

          "you've never heard of geostationary or geosynchronous satellites?"

          Geosynchronous satellites are 36,000 km from the earth so I don't think they do the kind of high resolution imaging we normally associate with spy satellites or even google maps. Spy satellites are in low earth orbit about a 1,000 km above the surface so imaging is much easier.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: What do it do?

      Oh. I saw that on G00gle Earth too, but I thought it was going to be Larry's new yacht, what with the funny bow and all...

    3. BenR

      Re: What do it do?

      "As for its stealth technology, it's big enough that it's visible from space."

      Fairly stupid statement to make, considering that MilSpec satellite cameras have been good enough for nearly 40 years to pick up a packet of cigarettes on the ground from orbit. Even the Google-purchased recon imagery used in Maps is good enough that you can pick up individual cars without any real difficulty.

      "Stealth" doesn't mean invisible. It's not a cloaking device. It means it's more difficult to pick up on targetting radars because it has a small RCS for the size of it. Like the F117A and the B2.

    4. IsJustabloke

      Re: What do it do?

      Firstly, they knew exactly where to look and secondly I don't think you realise just how BIG the worlds oceans are.

  4. GrumpyKiwi

    So this is the quality of the defence articles we get on The Reg now that Lewis Page is banished. I'm only hanging around for the BOFH and to roll my eyes and this sort of guff.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      What happened to Lewis?

      1. Mark 85

        He and Worstall were kicked down the stairs and out the door. Or maybe they walked using their own power.

        1. Alien8n

          When did that happen? Sure I was reading their articles just recently..

          1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

            But where am I going to get my environmental news now? I'm going to have to take out a subscription to Bunty magazine.

            Actually it's almost a shame: I liked Lewis's defence writing and while I rarely agreed with Worstall (that rarest of things, a UKIP-supporting economist) in his conclusions, some of his facts made for an interesting read. Always good to see how the other half think.

            1. Mike Taylor

              I'm gutted about them going. While I'm a bleeding heart liberal, I like intelligent journalism.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            In the last month. Apparently what the world needs - especially the tech world - is more lightweight analysis by left-wing or centre-left journalists, of whom there is apparently a colossal shortage. Worstall's stuff was superb, Page's defence stuff also superb, but they didn't hold the same views as the Trendy Wendies, so out they go. The Register is rapidly becoming a fucking embarrassment.

            1. Alien8n

              Re: When?

              Both clearly had their biases, Worstall at times came across rabid capitalist, but at least they had some understanding about their subjects. Worstall's analysis of the rare earths trade was actually informative. I do find lately that I take one look at the main page and there are less stories that grab my attention.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge


      They also missed that this American "Innovation" is late - French got there first.

      Granted, that is a Frigate, but it is the first sea going "Tomorrow Never Dies".

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: +1

        They also missed that this American "Innovation" is late - French got there first.

        And the Swedish (granted it's a corvette this time)

      2. IsJustabloke

        Re: +1

        HMS Daring (type 45 destroyer) , in service right now and she has a very slopey stealthy look about her as well although hers is mainly in the superstructure rather than the hull.

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      If by 'article' you mean 're-worded press release' and/or 'bits cut and pasted from news agency item', then yes.

      If you want Lewis back, start giving the editor(s) feedback and gentle persuasion to that effect.

      1. Chris Miller

        I'd love to see Lewis back, but I'm afraid that ship has sailed (sorry). To do so would require senior management admitting that they'd screwed up, which has yet to happen in the entire history of mankind.

  5. Sokolik


    Then, where are the sideburns?

  6. Tank boy


    Of all the things the US military needs is a stealth ship. How about invisibility cloaks for the guys on the ground? Perhaps a +15 Vorpal Blade and a +30 buckler to go with it? Truly beggars the imagination how this got past the Phase Of Ridiculous Ideas that hampers the military budget. I'm actually surprised that they didn't try to make it a combination submersible/airborne platform that can fire fucking Daisy Cutter bombs from the deck cannon while travelling at Mach 2.

    1. Martin 47

      Re: Boondoggle.

      I think the phrase your looking for is 'pork barrel politics'

  7. MacroRodent


    > its gentle sloping sides are good for deflecting projectiles but not as good for staying upright without computer assistance.

    So if the computer goes, she capsizes?! Not sure if that is a good idea.

    The shape reminds me of the imperial fleet from Star Wars. If the Empire had a sea-going navy, the ships would no doubt look just like that.

    1. Brian Miller

      Re: Stabilty

      And cost! The program so far is over $22 BEELION dollars, with the Zumwalt's "unit" cost nearly $4 BEELION dollars. Is this running Windows for Warships? "Captain, it's a blue screen!" "Quick, reboot the computer before we capsize!"

      Never mind an iceberg, the Navy has Windows...

      1. MondoMan

        Re: Zumwalt's OS

        Interestingly, unlike most of the rest of the Navy's missile ships, the Zumwalt class will NOT be running the Aegis system (and thus will not have ABM or area air-defense capability), but will instead be running a Linux variant! Quoth the Wiki: "The Total Ship Computing Environment Infrastructure (TSCEI) is based on General Electric Fanuc Embedded Systems' PPC7A and PPC7D single-board computers[71] running LynuxWorks' LynxOS (Linux kernel)[72] RTOS.

        1. Alan Johnson

          Re: Zumwalt's OS

          LynxOS is a nice OS (IMH) but it does not have a Linux Kernel.

          It is a realtime OS with support for Linux APIs (amongst others).

          I have not used a recent version but it was very reliable and a nice environment to develop in.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stabilty

        "And cost! The program so far is over $22 BEELION dollars, with the Zumwalt's "unit" cost nearly $4 BEELION dollars."

        With a lot of defense weaponry in the West it feels like we're making the same mistake as the Nazi's in World War 2, i.e. one expensive complicated Tiger versus 30-40 simple Sherman's or T34's, hope we never have to use any of it in a major war.

        1. nematoad Silver badge

          Re: Stabilty

          " expensive complicated Tiger versus 30-40 simple Sherman's ..."

          Apart from the fact that the "Greengrocer's apostophe" is still alive and well in your post, I think you ought to read up on the actions of Michael Wittman at the battle of Villers Bocage. Using a Tiger he single-handedly destroyed 14 tanks of the 7th Armoured Division, in one go.

          Shermans were known to the British crews as "Ronsons" after the lighter as they caught fire so easily. So quality can make a difference if used well.

          1. Dabooka

            Re: Stabilty

            Top post Nematoad, pint earned!

            Didn't one of the Battlefield series have a Bocage level?

            1. Dan Wilkie

              Re: Stabilty

              Battlefield 1942, the King of Battlefield games.

              God the memories...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Stabilty

                > Battlefield 1942, the King of Battlefield games.

                The crown it was wearing had "Desert Combat" written on it....

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Stabilty

            "Apart from the fact that the "Greengrocer's apostophe"is still alive and well in your post"

            What do you say to grammar Nazis?

            There, their, they're!

            Sorry I don't proof read every forum post to your high standards, life is too short.

            Maybe you should read how notoriously unreliable the Tiger was, granted it sometimes took 4-5 Shermans to take out one Tiger, but many were abandoned by crews because of breakdowns, in Normandy some groups had almost half their Tigers out of action due to mechanical problems.

            Some of this was due to poor engineering facilities and materials at the time, but it is widely recognised it was not a good mechanical design as it was too complex (Removing an engine was not a straightforward task for instance).

          3. JLV

            Villers Bocage

            Keep in mind, you are always gonna find the "x enemies destroyed" anecdotes popping up. By the very nature of what catches attention and makes history. There was supposedly the KV-1 with 14 kills @ Kursk, for example, but Kursk was won by Soviet numbers, not its outliers. And numbers, and reliability, again carried the day wrt Ronson M4s vs Tigers.

            Plus, IIRC Wittman fell on a nice line up of unaware enemies all in a column, wasn't a toe-to-toe slugout. Not to diss either him or the Tiger, but pls present the whole story. Respect for your counter example though.

          4. PaulFrederick

            Re: Stabilty

            They got the Ronson nickname because they light up reliably at the first strike. The Jerries called them Tommy Cookers.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              Re: PaulFrederick Re: Stabilty

              "They got the Ronson nickname because they light up reliably at the first strike...." Well, yes and no. The British ordered almost exclusively the petrol-engined model which - in its original and unmodified form - proved vulnerable to hits on the fuel tanks setting the whole tank on fire. Later British Shermans had added applique armour over the fuel tanks and ammunition bins to help reduce the problem. But the Yanks used a lot of the diesel-powered version without the same "brewing up" problem.

              The Birtish had a fixation with tanks "brewing up" due to a study done on their designs and early battles in North Africa, where the most common cause of a British tank being written-off was due to catastrophic fire in the crew compartment (very few actually exploded in best Hollywood fashion). But the cause of the frequent brewing up was traced to the bad habits of British tank crews, who packed the interiors of their tanks with personal kit such as flammable coats and oil-soaked rags, and often kept ready-to-fire ammunition stacked outside of protective containers. When their tanks were hit by AP shot, hot splinters of metal often set fire to those personal items and the fire quickly spread to the ready ammunition, and it then became a race for the crew to escape before they got burnt alive. Even the old and lighter Crusader II and III tanks suffered much less brew ups after crews started keeping the interior spaces clear and sliding doors were fitted over the ammunition racks.

              The original Sherman design was very good, so good that when it made its battle debut in 1942 the Yanks made the mistake of assuming it would stay a top-line battle tank for the rest of the foreseeable War period. And for the majority of the War it was as good or better than the majority of its opponents (the most common German tank throughout the War was the up-gunned Panzer IV with the Panther and Tiger being relatively uncommon in comparison, and the Japanese tanks being little more than target practice). But in many ways it became a moot point - in the latter parts of WW2 the majority of German tanks were destroyed from the air, or broke down and were captured, or simply ran out of fuel (because air attacks destroyed their fuel supplies). And by the end of the War the Brits and Yanks both had tank designs that matched or bettered the Tiger, Panther and even Tiger II in the Pershing, Comet and Centurion.

          5. Yag

            Re: M4 nicknames

            Can't be worse than the italian CV-35 (or L3/35), with its thin rivetted armor (acting as an embedded fragmentation bomb)

            It was nicknamed "Arrigoni" after a popular tomato sauce brand..

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stabilty

          In fairness, the 45's were £1 billion each. Which with a quick bit of conversion makes them roughly $1.5 billion each. And the Zumwalt is nigh on twice the displacement, and (whilst I'm unconvinced it's a good thing for a warship) cutting edge.

          Whereas the 45's don't even work most of the time. I'd imagine after a couple of years, provided these actually stay at sea without breaking down for more than a days, you'll get more sea time per £ from a $4 billion Zumwalt than a $1 billion T45...

      3. DropBear

        Re: Stabilty

        "Is this running Windows for Warships? "

        Shouldn't those be called, y'now, "Portholes"...?

    2. MondoMan
      Thumb Up

      Re: Stabilty

      There was much controversy over the stability of the "tumblehome" hull form. The Wiki notes: "A return to a hull form not seen since the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, the Zumwalt-class destroyer reintroduces the tumblehome hull form." and "In April 2007, naval architect Ken Brower said, "As a ship pitches and heaves at sea, if you have tumblehome instead of flare, you have no righting energy to make the ship come back up. On the DDG 1000, with the waves coming at you from behind, when a ship pitches down, it can lose transverse stability as the stern comes out of the water – and basically roll over."

      There is reason for hope -- the 1/4-scale tumblehome-hull "SeaJet" demonstrator ship did *not* roll over in tests in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stabilty

        so it's, basically, a roll-over design, like a cayak? I hope they have time to pull down their steel shutters before they roll! ;)

        1. Alan Edwards

          Re: Stabilty

          I was reading about this new ship earlier, and they were comparing it to the Arleigh Burke class. Apparently the Arleigh Burke can roll over to 110 degrees and still naturally right itself, the Zumwalt is deliberately unstable and needs computer help in rough water.

          The Arleigh Burke is nicer looking too, IMO. The Zumwalt is not exactly pretty, is it?

      2. swm

        Re: Stabilty

        There is a building in Boston with a very large weight at the top which can be moved by hydraulic actuators to maintain stability of the building in high winds. I think this is the building that used to shed window panes as the building flexed.

        I believe that some stealth aircraft are unstable without their control systems and if you lose the control system you bail out because your reflexes aren't fast enough to fly the plane.

        This is not new technology.

    3. Yugguy

      Re: Stabilty

      "So if the computer goes, she capsizes?! Not sure if that is a good idea."

      Yes - in the same way that a lot of ultramodern military aircraft cannot fly without constant computer control. It makes them more manouverable.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd serve on her.

    Hits all my check boxes although I'd prefer at least twenty to forty more VLS cells since this design isn't stock Bluewater, more raider. You need deeper loadouts in a raider. The advanced guns will surely be appreciated by Marines (esp. Force Recon) or Navy SEALS in the area. Given the OTH reach, several insertions could occur in near simultaneously evolutions, with drone support.

    Overpriced? With that few ships? Congress cuts and cuts the total build and WTF do you think will happen? R&D, support costs, ancillary programs are still fixed cost spread over too damn few ships. Fuck Congress.

    Thirty-two of them would be everyone's worst nightmare. Good. Go Navy!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I sincerely hope

    the US Navy displays some common sense and put Captain Kirk in charge of the new CVS-80 Enterprise carrier when she takes to the waves in 10 years time;

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I sincerely hope

      and he needs to be given the codename Tiberius ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I sincerely hope

        But did he cheat at the Koboyashi Maru test?


      Re: I sincerely hope

      Kirk is not an aviator, so it's not likely. He's more "Heavy Cruiser" material.

  10. graeme leggett Silver badge

    not a handsome beast

    Though the lines make its size deceptive - about the size of a WWII cruiser.

    1. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: not a handsome beast

      I must say that this struck me as well.

      15,000 tons and it has to use all that technology to make it look like a WW2 cruiser?

      That's a destroyer?

      I hate to think what the US Navy would think of as a Battle-cruiser class ship!

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      Re: not a handsome beast

      Actually bigger than many if not most WW-II cruisers. The RN County class heavy cruisers weighed in at 10,000 tonnes, rather less than the 15,000 tonnes quoted here, which is heavier than many pre-dreadnought battleships. A very far cry from the 260 tonnes of the earliest torpedo-boat destroyers. Churchill apparently once said that by forever increasing the size of destroyers, we move them from the class of the hunters to that of the hunted. He may have had a point.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: not a handsome beast

        For all nations, the Washington treaty cruisers were fixed at 10,000 tons.

        Freed of the Treaty by the war, the US pushed cruiser weights up to 18,000 tons standard. The UK needed quantity more than "quality" so only built smaller cruisers during the war, if at all.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: not a handsome beast

      It looks remarkably like the Toblerone the missus wants for xmas, only cheaper.

    4. Yag

      Re: not a handsome beast

      Theorically, the class was not related to the size, but to the mission.

      Battleships were front liner, slugging each others into oblivion. If I remember well, it happened only once (the famous battle of Jutland)

      Cruisers were supposed to be lone wolf hunters preying on shipping and opportunity targets, role that was superseeded by the subs

      Destroyers were small-medium fleet escort ships designed to hunt and destroy those submarines.

      According to the armament of the thing and the logical aim of a stealthy ship, this should be classified as a cruiser.

      But it's easier for the navy to get funding to build a "small" destroyers than for "big" cruisers, so...

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: not a handsome beast

        There were several battleship vs battleship actions after Jutland. Among them were

        1 Denmark Strait, Hood and Prince of Wales vs Bismarck and Prinz Eugen

        2 Pursuit of Bismarck, Bismarck vs Home Fleet

        3 Naval Battle of Gualcanal, Nov 1942, Washington vs two Kongo-class (designed and one built in the UK!)

        4 Suriago Strait, six American battleships plus several American cruisers (and one Australian one) vs two Japanese battleships and assorted cruisers. USS Missouri fired last main gun salvo against another battleship ever made.

        If Halsey hadn't screwed up, Willis Lee and the four Iowa class battleships would have been in the San Bernadino Strait to meet Kurita and his boys, and we'd know who'd win in a fight between Yamato and Iowa class battleships. Instead, Lee and his battleships were out chasing Ozawa and Kurita hit the escort groups off Samar.

        1. Yag

          Re: not a handsome beast

          I stand corrected...

      2. Gordon 10

        Re: not a handsome beast

        There's a lot of speculation that the Zumwalts are actually next gen battle cruisers in disguise and are earmarked to be the test bed for the Navy's railgun/ laser projects. One of the reasons the class was reduced from 32 and almost canned at one point was rumoured to be a lot of internal interference from the Carrier Jockeys.

        One of the coolest things I have read about them? Apparently coz they are all electric you can switch the power between various sub systems on demand such as between the electric engines and that big ass radar array they have.

        Give them energy shields and it'll be X-wing vs Tie Fighter navy stylee.

  11. russell 6


    Maybe it has an extendable keel which can be deployed and retracted as or when needed. There is certainly enough height in the superstructure to hide one ;)

  12. Pedigree-Pete

    Pearl Harbour

    Wasn't the "Z" the only ship to make hits and escape the Chinese invasion of Pearl in "Red Sun"? (Can't check just now because Windows Kindle app has scrambled my copy of Red Sun).

  13. BernardL


    A crew of only 158? How will they find each other in a ship that size? Search dogs? FindMyCrewmate?

  14. enormous c word

    Aint no looker

    Well - whatever else it might be, it is one ugly mother

  15. Locky

    The Royal Navy best not order any of these

    This guy would destroy the fleet

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Royal Navy best not order any of these

      The UK will probably order some....we just won't be able to afford weapons for them until 10 years after they are delivered.

      1. annodomini2

        Re: The Royal Navy best not order any of these

        ...10 years after they are obsolete.

      2. graeme leggett Silver badge

        Re: The Royal Navy best not order any of these

        The Navy's planned ship in the stealthy(ish) format is the Type 26 (to replace the Type 23) for "warfighting, maritime security and international engagement"

        "warfighting" - is that a borrowing from our Atlantic cousins?

        1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

          Re: The Royal Navy best not order any of these

          Could be a misprint for "wharffighting", something the personnel do off duty, or an indication that the ship isn't really seaworthy.

          But yes, Pentagon's Redundancy Team, aka the Squad Squad, probably came up with that one. (I believe that it is commanded by Gen. Consensus.)

          1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

            Re: The Royal Navy best not order any of these

            I have just remembered that William Safire's "Squad Squad" was also known as the "Department of Redundancy Department"....

  16. Matt Bradley

    Imperial Star Destroyer, anybody?

  17. Matthew Taylor

    Regrettably, they seem to have launched it upside down.

  18. Chris G


    I'm sitting eating a sandwich on a 15 metre Fairline motor yacht while I'm reading this, just doing some work on it. Being more of a sailing man I think the Fairline is ugly but when the Zunwalt was in the ugly queue it really took the piss and all of the ugly.

    In the past, naval ship's seaworthyness often saved the lives of their crews even when significantly damaged, if I sailed on this I would try to wangle a position near a life boat station.

    It has got life boats somewhere......surely.

    Meant to say, most ships engender a feeling of soul, this looks absolutely souless. Not designed by your usual naval architect.

  19. Winkypop Silver badge


    As pretty as a bag of spanners.

  20. phuzz Silver badge


    Well apparently the US Navy knows nothing about building ships, so thank fsck that the combined forces of el Reg's commentards are here to school them on modern warship design!

    Honestly, why did they even bother paying mere mortals to design the thing when they could have come here and discovered that their plans were all bad and wrong?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Phew

      ...Let's face it el Reg's readers are all bloody awesome, multi talented super stars, there's no denying it!

    2. Sokolik
      Thumb Up

      Re: Phew

      What you said.

      I'm incredulous of questioning the need for a modern Navy, in this day of global trade. Sincerely, how else does stuff get reliably and continually from the manufacturers (China, et al) to the consumers (northwestern hemisphere, that is, us) ? But for modern Navies of U.S., UK, & France, how would all merchant sea lanes not be the Somali coast?

      As for the futuristic design and seaworthiness, I doubt the guys and gals at naval design bureaus are stupid. As for the futuristic design and any tactical vulnerabilities, I'm sure, behind those sloped bulkheads and within those turrets are a lot of nasty and effective surprises for any adversary of any means.

      "Cole", agreed, is a valid and valuable lesson. Yet, again, I doubt the design bureaus are too stupid to have learned that lesson.

      As for costly financing, why else did Congress or the Navy drastically lower the class from 32 vessels to three?

      Trust me, all this is true. I'm an Air Force officer, so It's very difficult for me to cough up the necessity of a modern Navy!


      Re: Phew

      Well, the USN kind of doesn't. If you read the article you would be aware that they ordered a bunch of these and then scaled that back. The "I told you so's" were already right there in the article.

  21. Stevie


    I imagine that the sister ships "USS Up Scope and USS Davy Jones' Locker are eagerly awaited by their valiant crews.

  22. Steve 114


    When I was at school in the '60s, an 'Old Boy' who'd made it big in the FO came to lecture us on Britain's strategy. He said we wouldn't need a big-ship Navy in fifty years, just fast boats to police the Mediterranean and Channel against mass population movements. Do you think they listened to their own advice? The US, on the other hand, has the Pacific.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like...

    ... a vintage coast fortification gone AWOL.

    Or a mobile skyline of {global-fancy-urban city-" 2.0"}.

    But if it helps those on the inside*...

    * where it's probably smaller what with all the angling...

  24. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Why all the excitement?

    Surely stealthing ships was properly done in the Philadelphia Experiment?

  25. HurdImpropriety

    LOL... the Internet 101st Military Intelligencia is here

    LOL LOL and LOL, all the know-it-alls whose furthest adventure is out of their mamma's basements to get new batteries for their wireless mice. Really try reading Jane's if you "really" want to man-up on military might. "oh... it's one shot and dead"... lol good luck with that knuckledragger clownshoes.

  26. Unep Eurobats
    Black Helicopters

    Never mind the radar signature

    With those sloping walls and slit windows it just looks scary, like a giant crusader helmet.

    I'm not messing with it.

  27. Asterix the Gaul

    As an ex-professional seaman,I would comment that, although the vessel may have a small radar footprint,it's visual signature is fully maximised.

    Visually, it would be a very easy target to attack,it's hull is,if anything,more pronounced than the traditional architecture,as is the upperworks & any missile could hardly miss it's target.

    As for handling itself in heavy weather,it looks to me as to be a sluggish vessel to manouvre & in heavy seas it's imperative to be able to have sea room in which to run before the sea.

    In coming about,I can see her being affected & damaged by such heavy weather.

    A vessel reacts to the environment that it's in,a traditional naval hull cuts into waves,it's bow being rakish,with little flare,this allows it to move faster,but increases stresses on the hull from more of it being out of the water once a large wave runs from the bow-midships.

    This vessel will cut into a sea, but it's upperworks show too much face broad on to the sea.

    It's not a 'sea-kindly' vessel,likely to be uncomfortable in any weather of consequence.

    On reflection, 50% of it is 'modern', the other half looks like an 'Iron-Clad' battlewagon.

  28. 2StrokeRider

    Waste of money. A new Virginia class fast attack submarine is less than 1.8 billion, and quite a bit more stealthy :). I'm a bit prejudiced as a retired submariner but really, I'd rather have 2 modern fast attack submarines and a little change in the pocket than a mission limited target floating on the surface.

  29. GrumpyKiwi
    Big Brother

    Down the memory hole

    Ah I see that the worst of the derp has now been removed from the article - without of course any acknowledgement that it ever existed or was ever detected. Has El'Reg been taking lessons from government PR flaks?

    Get rid of amateur hour and bring back Lewis. Or stop posting articles on defence matters altogether, you're just making yourselves look silly.

    (Big Brother because of retrospective history fixing)

  30. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    staying upright without computer assistance

    Does this not increase the likelihood of the enemy attacking on Patch Tuesday?

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