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USS Zumwalt Fires Missiles at Live Targets for the First Time

After spending quite a long period of time in the shadows, its future uncertain, the Zumwalt-class of mighty destroyers is coming back into the spotlight, thanks to a series of recent developments that concern it.
USS Zumwalt firing missiles at live targets 6 photos
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Imagined as a whole fleet of guided-missile destroyers (some 30 of them were planned at first), the Zumwalt family was quickly reduced, due to development costs, to just three units, which are only now starting to be brought back to life.

As said, certain recent developments brought the stealthy ship back into focus. Last week, for instance, we learned the Navy awarded Raytheon Missiles & Defense a fat contract (worth $1.68 billion over the next five years, if all options are exercised) to get the ships ready for duty.

With the inaugural fleet employment expected for later in 2022, the Navy is hard at work doing its part, and this week announced it has conducted the first-in-class, live-fire missile exercise with the flagship of the little fleet, the USS Zumwalt, at the center of the action.

According to the Navy, live targets were engaged using Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Block 1and Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) ammunitions. The exercise, which took place in mid-April but was just announced, was part of the ship’s final air defense testing.

“Demonstrating the capability of our combat suite and the lethality of our systems is critical to furthering the Zumwalt class,” said in a statement Capt. Amy McInnis, Zumwalt’s commanding officer.

“Zumwalt continues to make great strides and we are excited to continue to test her limits later this year.”

The new destroyer with stealth capabilities is likely to become the most modern out there. Looking otherworldly on account of its design, it is packed for warfare, loaded with two sonar arrays, a missile launcher, and two 155 mm guns.

 
 
 
 
 

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