Batman meets Star Trek on the USS Zumwalt; stealthy ship joins Naval fleet

BALTIMORE, Oct. 16 (UPI) — The USS Zumwalt has joined the Navy’s fleet as its biggest and most expensive destroyer.

The Zumwalt, which cost $4.4 billion, has a stealth appearance with sharp angles and weaponry concealed behind flat surfaces. The ship is being commanded by Capt. James A. Kirk, a decorated officer who shares a name with Capt. James T. Kirk, the lead character on Star Trek.

“If Batman had a ship, it would be the USS Zumwalt,” said Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, during a ceremony Saturday in Baltimore.

The ship includes advanced power plant and weapon systems, said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

“It doesn’t look like other ships and it does things other ships cannot do,” Mabus said.

The ship weighs 15,995 metric tons, is 610 feet long, can travel 30 knots per hour and has a crew of 147

The ship is named after Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., a Bronze Star winner from World War II who also served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

“The Navy and the nation are better because of Admiral Zumwalt,” Mabus said Saturday about Zumwalt, who helped increase opportunities for minorities and women in the fleet.

Its two sister ships, the Michael Mansoor and the Lyndon B. Johnson, are under construction at Bath Iron Works in Maine. Originally, 32 ships were planned.

“Zumwalt will play a heavy role in giving us the clear edge in these challenges. We must continue to develop and field combat power like this ship to defend the U.S. homeland and the homelands of our allies,” Harris said. “Indeed, it’s fitting that Zumwalt’s motto is ‘Pax Propter Vim’… Latin for ‘Peace Through Power.’ As the PACOM commander, I’ve adopted the motto ‘Vim, Vim, Vim.’ That’s Tennessee Latin for ‘there’s no such thing as too much power.’ “

The Zumwalt is scheduled to head out to its home port of San Diego for more industrial work before going out at sea.

Kirk told the Baltimore Sun he doesn’t expect the ship to begin predeployment testing until 2018.

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