Navy developers of the new high-tech, stealthy USS Zumwalt destroyer are widening the mission envelope for the ship, exploring new ammunition for its guns and preparing to fire its first missiles next year.
The US Navy’s stealthy destroyer will fire an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and SM-2 in 2019 from its Mk 57 Vertical Launch Systems, marking the first time the new ship will fire weapons as part of its ongoing combat activation process.
The Navy is exploring a new range of weapons for its stealthy USS Zumwalt destroyer to better prepare the ship for future warfare against technically advanced enemies.
“The Navy is in the process of updating required documents to support new surface strike requirements,” according to Navy statements briefed at the service’s Sea Air and Space Annual Symposium by Zumwalt program manager Capt. Kevin Smith.
The new ship, engineered with a sleek, radar-evading design, was initially conceived of in terms of primarily engineering a shallow-water land attack platform. While the ship was envisioned as a multi-mission platform at its inception, current emerging threats and new technology have led Navy strategists to scope a wider strategic view for the ship.