US Navy destroyer to be fitted with hypersonic missiles

The USS Zumwalt is the lead ship of the Zumwalt class of naval vessels. She has been described as the largest destroyer in the world. 

The USS Zumwalt. (photo credit: FLICKR)
The USS Zumwalt.
(photo credit: FLICKR)

The USS Zumwalt just arrived at a shipyard in Mississippi to be fitted with hypersonic weapons, according to a Saturday report from the United States Naval Institute (USNI).

The USS Zumwalt is the lead ship of the Zumwalt class of naval vessels. Business Insider described her as the largest destroyer in the world. 

The US Indo-Pacific Command noted the modernity of the ship, stating that she was commissioned into active service in 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The “USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) departed San Diego, Aug 1, and will shift its homeport from San Diego to Pascagoula, Mississippi to enter a modernization period and receive technology upgrades including the integration of the Conventional Prompt Strike weapons system,”  the US Navy wrote in a statement earlier this month. “The upgrades will ensure Zumwalt remains one of the most technologically advanced and lethal ships in the US Navy.”

The Zumwalt arrived in Mississippi

After several weeks, the ship arrived at the Pascagoula shipyard, Ingalls Shipbuilding, which, Business Insider reported is part of Huntington Ingalls Industries, a prominent Navy shipbuilder.

 Hypersonic missiles. (credit: Continental Defence)
Hypersonic missiles. (credit: Continental Defence)

Per the US Naval History website,, the USS Zumwalt is a “next-generation stealth guided-missile destroyer.” The vessel was built to be multifunctional and deployable in various roles.

The USS Zumwalt has previously been criticized by media outlets, such as the Huffington Post, for the enormous cost invested in the ship and by Business Insider for various technical issues the destroyer has encountered. 

However, the latter issue is set to be addressed.

USNI News reported that the twin 155 mm Advanced Gun Systems on board will be replaced with four 87-inch missile tubes, each tube containing three Common Hypersonic Glide Bodies (C-HGB).

The Navy is looking to have the weapons installed and the ship deployable by 2025.

USNI quoted Vice Admiral Johnny Wolfe as saying, “We’re talking about deploying this system on DDG-1000 in 2025, that’s three years from now.” 

The Government Accountability Office, however, has reportedly questioned that timeline and suggested that it may be even longer before the ship is ready to deploy.