The USS Zumwalt – the lead ship in the upcoming Zumwalt-class of destroyers – doubles down on the Type 26’s damage-dealing capabilities while maintaining a purist dedication to staying invisible. Stealth first. Features include an aluminium/glass-fibre composite structure, a wave-piercing hull that leaves almost no wake and an exhaust suppressor to reduce its infrared signature. On top of all this, a high-angle inward sloping exterior, noise reduction system and a trapezoidal, radome-inspired command and control centre make this near-15,000-ton titan nothing but a ghost on radar. This arsenal of stealth technology allows it to slip through the waves like a harpoon, ready to deploy an arsenal of a much more explosive nature on unsuspecting targets.
Interestingly, the Zumwalt even extends its stealth mantra to its weapons, with every gun, missile and torpedo launched by integrated computer systems. As such, far from crew members having to man gun emplacements on deck or load missiles into launchers manually – generating more noise – the Zumwalt allows the sleek, minimalist deck to remain undisturbed, so an offensive can be launched without compromising its location.