Staff Writer (Updated: 6/20/2016):
Destroyers serve the USN as powerful, fast and agile surface ships which can operate as part of the main fleet or independently in hunting out enemy surface and undersea threats. The typical size for destroyers also allow them to operate relatively close to shore than most other surface ships in the fleet while also maintaining capabilities of open-sea, deep water travel. Their armament generally consists of an array of weapon types to help counter most any modern threat at sea. Destroyers were initially known as torpedo boat destroyers for they were specifically developed to handle the threat posed by fast torpedo boat emerging from the Chilean War of 1891.
The USS Zumwalt serves as a next generation multi-mission system to feature state-of-the-art design, capabilities and construction with an integrated set of suites such as mine avoidance, automatic fire suppression and all-digital systems. Each Zumwalt-class unit costs roughly $3.3 billion USD. Armament is centered around a potent payload of 80-cell surface-to-surface missiles of various types depending on the intended role. Twin AGS (Advanced Gun System) 155mm cannon mounts provide an offensive punch and 2 x 57mm Mk 110 guns supply defensive close-in anti-aircraft/anti-missile capabilities. Provisions are in place to support the addition of torpedo capabilities as well making the Zumwalt a flexible wartime performer. Capabilities are further augmented by the ability to support up to 2 x MH-60R type helicopters (or 1 x Sikorsky MH-60R) and up to three unmanned aerial vehicles (MQ-8 Fire Scout helicopter UAV). Crew accommodations support up to 142 personnel including the air arm.