The Zumwalt-Class Destroyer Nick Kaloterakis
A complement to Arleigh Burke–class destroyers that currently protect the Navy’s prized aircraft carriers from aerial attacks, the Zumwalt-class destroyer is for laying waste to land. It can evade enemy detection; slip into the shallows along foreign coastlines; and deliver devastatingly accurate firepower hundreds of miles inland, supporting special operations ashore, clearing the way for amphibious troop landings, or knocking out air defenses. It’s a seaborne battering ram—a specialized piece of equipment for smashing in the enemy’s front door.
In the 1990s, the U.S. military carried out successful amphibious assaults in Somalia and elsewhere. But as coastal defenses around the world grew more advanced—not least those of Iraq, which would have been a serious threat to U.S. troops had they invaded Kuwait by sea during Operation Desert Storm—the Navy decided to build the Zumwalt.