The costliest, most hi-tech destroyer in the history of the US Navy has broken down on its very first voyage to its homeport.
The 610-foot, 15,000-tonne USS Zumwalt cost almost $4.5bn to build and has an angular, unconventional shape to make it difficult to detect with radar. It is capable of operating with a crew half as big as a conventional destroyer, and carries a pair of guns that can supposedly hit targets with precision at a distance of 80 miles, using rounds that cost at least $800,000 each.
The so-called "stealth destroyer" is so futuristic, it even has a captain called James Kirk.
But on Monday night, as the Zumwalt passed through the Panama Canal, it suffered an engineering malfunction and had to be towed to port. Built in Bath, Maine and commissioned last month in Baltimore, Maryland, the warship was on its way to San Diego, its homeport. According to Defense News, the vessel was towed to the Pacific end of the canal and is now at the former US Naval Station Rodman in Panama, undergoing repairs.
This wasn’t the first time the Zumwalt had broken down. Several months ago, on its way to perform its first at-sea tests, the ship sprang a leak in its auxiliary motor drive oil system, Popular Mechanics reported. That problem took around a fortnight to fix.Reuse content