Politics

USS Zumwalt begins sea trials

Published 11:28 AM ET, Tue December 8, 2015
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The USS Zumwalt, the Navy's biggest and most expensive destroyer ever built, heads out into the Atlantic Ocean on Monday, December 7. The ship is out at sea for the first time to undergo sea trials. DENNIS GRIGGS/U.S. Navy
The USS Zumwalt leaves the Kennebec River in Phippsburg, Maine, on December 7. The ship and its class are named in honor of Adm. Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt Jr., who served as chief of naval operations from 1970 to 1974. Robert F. Bukaty/AP
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work speaks with the Zumwalt crew during a visit to Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, on May 12. Work toured the ship and observed its progress. One thing that sets the $3 billion ship apart is its very small crew. Compared with about 300 sailors needed for similar warships, the Zumwalt's minimum compliment is only 130. The smaller crew is made possible by advanced automated systems which "make it much easier and much more effective for the sailor to operate," says former Navy Capt. Wade Knudson, who now serves as Zumwalt program director for Pentagon contractor, Raytheon. Sean Hurt/U.S. Navy
Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers christens the Zumwalt during a ceremony at Bath Iron Works on April 12, 2014. DENNIS GRIGGS/U.S. Navy
The ship is floated out of dry dock at the Bath Iron Works shipyard on October 28, 2013. General Dynamics/U.S. Navy
The 1,000-ton deckhouse is craned toward the deck of the ship to be integrated with the its hull at Bath Iron Works on December 14, 2012. U.S. Navy
Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. James G. Zumwalt, left, assists welder Carl Pepin as he inscribes a steel plate at a keel laying ceremony at Bath Iron Works on Thursday, November 17, 2011. Robert F. Bukaty/AP