Sunday, April 20, 2014

Introducing the USS Zumwalt, the Mother of all Stealth Destroyers

SOURCE ADMIN : It looks like a floating concrete building with sharp angles and reportedly cost billions to produce, but the Navy's recently launched ship, the USS Zumwalt, seems to be setting a standard for technology. It not only represents one specific new ship but a new class of special stealth destroyers, enhanced with futuristic weaponry and the ability to dodge most marine offenses.The U.S. Navy’s new warship has a mind of its own — and it’s blurring the line between science fiction and fact.
The highly automated, 610-foot USS Zumwalt can prepare itself for battle and lock onto targets all by itself, according to a new report.
Wade Knudson led the Zumwalt project for Raytheon Company, the defense contractor behind the warship. He spoke to Bloomberg BusinessWeek about all the bells and whistles that will come with this next-generation war machine.
Knudson explained that the USS Zumwalt's advanced stealth system will let it maneuver across the seas while showing up as a tiny blip — about the size of a fishing boat — on enemy radar. It will also boast GPS that will guide its rock-propelled firepower to targets.

Despite all this automation, it isn't exactly a combat drone because it still needs a human crew to operate.
About 150 people will man the 15,000-ton ship, about half the number required for a regular ship of its size. But it can also operate with a crew as small as 40 people if needed, according to BusinessWeek.
The captain will be able to control the ship from several dozen different consoles across the vessel by logging in with a password, Knudson said

But what if the password falls into the hands of hackers or terrorists?
Knudson says that there are sophisticated procedures in place to safeguard the password from would-be infiltrators. He also said that it would be highly unlikely for just one person to fire the ship's weapons, BusinessWeek reported.
Then again, that could be cold comfort for anyone who simply feels this technology has gone too far in the direction of Cyberdyne Systems from "Terminator."
The USS Zumwalt was reportedly just one of 32 planned warships with this sort of technology. But its hefty price tag $5 billion didn't go over too well with Congress and now only three are slated to hit the high seas.

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