The USS Zumwalt destroyer will be christened this coming Saturday with Captain James Kirk at the helm. No… not the character played by William Shatner, this is the real James Kirk.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the Star Trek actor George Takei celebrated when he heard a James Kirk would captain the US Navy vessel the USS Zumwalt:
“The name of the captain of this new Zumwalt-class destroyer (the latest guided missile vessel to be deployed by the U.S. Navy) is…wait for it…James Kirk. Truly epic..”
The real Captain James Kirk received his commission as an officer at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1990 and has served “as Executive Assistant to the Navy’s Chief of Legislative Affairs and as an Action Officer on the Joint Staff.” Sorry, but he’s never spent any time on the real USS Enterprise as far as we’re aware. And, no, the executive officer is not named Spock. Instead, we’ll have Cmdr. Jeffrey W. Hickox filling that role (sans the pointy ears, we’d assume).
Joking aside, the USS Zumwalt destroyer is the next generation of lighter, faster, smaller, and deadlier war ships being produced by the US Navy. The USS Zumwalt is the first of the DDG-1000 class of destroyers, which is 610 feet long and 81 feet wide, yet it weighs less than the USS Arizona, a battleship sunk at Pearl Harbor, because of being built from light-weight carbon fiber composites. Because of its low angled profile it would also show up on radar like a blip from a fishing boat.
But the USS Zumwalt is not simply hard to spot. It’s a long-ship carrying state-of-the-art weapons capable of killing targets up to 60 miles away with up to 80 missiles at at time. The weapons systems are also fully automated, meaning that only 150 crew members are required to operate the destroyer, while current ship designs require at least 275 people. The ship can also carry two Seahawk helicopters and deploy four UAVs.
The government shutdown delayed the launch of the USS Zumwalt, which was supposed to be christened on October 19, 2013. The ship was named after Retired Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Jr., who “dedicated his life to ensuring that veterans were compensated for illnesses linked to Agent Orange, an herbicide he had approved in Vietnam and he blamed for the death of his son.” He also had a “reputation as a reformer who fought racism and sexism and worked to improve the lives of sailors.” As such, his two daughters will be christening the USS Zumwalt destroyer with a bottle of sparkling wine.