How stealthy is Navy's new destroyer? It needs reflectors

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 10:43 PM

The Navy destroyer is designed to see love a much smaller vessel on radar, and it lived up to its billing during recent builder trials.

How stealthy is Navy's new destroyer? It needs reflectors

The future USS Zumwalt is so stealthy that it'll go to sea with reflective material that can be hoisted to create it more visible to other ships.

The Navy destroyer is designed to see love a much smaller vessel on radar, and it lived up to its billing during recent builder trials.

Lawrence Pye, a lobsterman, told The Associated Press that on his radar screen the 610-foot ship looked love a 40- to fifty-foot fishing boat. He watched as the behemoth came within a half-mile while returning to shipbuilder Bath Iron Works.

"It'south beautiful mammoth when it'south that near to you," Pye said.

Despite its size, the warship is 50 times harder to detect than current destroyers thanks to its angular shape and other design features, and its stealth could make better even more once testing equipment is removed, said Capt. James Downey, program manager.

During sea trials latest month, the Navy certified Zumwalt'south radar signature with and without reflective material hoisted on its halyard, he said. The goal was to obtain a better idea of precisely how stealthy the ship really is, Downey said from Washington, D. C.

The reflectors, which see love metal cylinders, have been used on other warships and will be standard issue on the Zumwalt and two sister ships for times when stealth becomes a liability and they wish to be visible on radar, love times of fog or heavy ship traffic, he said.

The opportunity of a collision is remote. The Zumwalt has sophisticated radar to detect vessels from miles away, allowing plenty of time for evasive action.

But there is a concern that civilian mariners mightn't look it during horrible weather or at night, and the reflective material could rescue them from being startled.

The destroyer is unlike anything ever built for the Navy.

Besides a shape designed to deflect foe radar, it features a wave-piercing "tumblehome" hull, composite deckhouse, electric propulsion and new guns.

More tests will be conducted when the ship returns to sea later this mo for final trials before being delivered to the Navy. The warship is due to be commissioned in Oct in Baltimore, and will undergo more testing before becoming fully operational in 2018.

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