Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to News

The largest destroyer the Navy has ever built arrived in Norfolk on Wednesday

The largest destroyer the Navy has ever built arrived in Norfolk on Wednesday


The largest destroyer the Navy has ever built arrived at Norfolk Naval Station on Wednesday, where it will undergo several weeks of testing before the stealthy ship is commissioned in Baltimore next month.

The USS Zumwalt is easily identifiable by its enclosed, angular design that makes it more difficult for adversaries to track. The shape of the superstructure and the arrangement of its antennas significantly reduce radar cross-section, or how it reflects radar signals, making the ship less visible to enemy radar at sea. The ship also has a distinctive wave-piercing tumblehome hull, where the sides slope inward above the water.

The guided missile destroyer is 100 feet longer, 13 feet wider and has a flight deck that is 93 percent larger than an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer that can launch a helicopter and vertical-takeoff drones. The Zumwalt also is crewed by fewer than half that of a Burke-class, at 147, which is expected to cut costs over the lifetime of the ship.

The Navy spent $3.8 billion on the Zumwalt, according to Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Haggard, a Naval Surface Forces Pacific spokeswoman. New technology incorporated into the ship’s hull include an electric integrated power system and an advanced gun system that can fire ordnance 63 nautical miles. The Navy says that’s a three-fold increase over current surface fire coverage.

The Zumwalt left the Bath, Maine, shipyard it was built in last week. While in Norfolk, the ship and its crew will undergo training in preparation for its commissioning, the Navy said in a statement.
“Training is the foundation of every operation we perform in the Navy, and it is our job to ensure we use the time in Norfolk to get as much quality training as we can. Successful training pays dividends for Sailors out at sea,” Capt. James A. Kirk, the Zumwalt’s commanding officer, said in a statement.

Once the Zumwalt officially joins the fleet Oct. 15, it will begin the journey to its homeport in San Diego. The ship is expected to make several stops along the way and will be integrated into fleet operations in 2018.
The Navy has not said where the two Zumwalt-class destroyers under construction – the USS Michael Monsoor and the USS Lyndon B. Johnson – will be homeported. The Navy plans to spend $2.8 billion on the Michael Monsoor and $2.4 billion on the LBJ, Haggard said.

The Zumwalt is named for former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt. Zumwalt was a World War II, Korea and Vietnam War veteran who advocated for technological innovation in the Navy, including the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine and the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet.

Brock Vergakis, 757-222-5846, [email protected]

  • Posted in: