The USS Zumwalt, a massive 610-foot modern-day destroyer with an advanced rocket system, launched into the water off a Maine dock on Monday, in a surprisingly quiet ceremony, given the vessel’s record-breaking size and unusual shape.
It’s the largest destroyer ever built for the U.S. Navy, and it’s notable for its angular profile, The Daily Mail reported.
“It’s absolutely massive,” said Amy Lent, the executive director of the Maine Maritime Museum, in The Daily Mail. “It’s higher than the tree line on the other side. It’s an absolutely huge ship — very imposing. It’s massively dominating the waterfront.”
The ship has a 155 mm “Advanced Gun System,” with rocket-propelled warheads that can shoot 100 miles. And due to its high-technology component, it only requires half the normal amount of sailors to operate.
The ship was set for a huge fanfare launch earlier this month. But plans were scaled back, due to the government shutdown.
On Monday, it hit the water for the first time in the Kennebec River off Maine.
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Bath Iron Works craftsmen will keep working on the ship in the water. Workers hope to christen it this spring, and send it along for some trial sea runs in the fall of 2014. It will then be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2015.
“The Zumwalt is really in a league of its own,” said defense consultant Eric Wertheim, in The Daily Mail.