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Optimus Prime Is Here, and He’s a Navy Ship Now

Okay, Transformers aren’t real. Sure, ruin our childhoods. But the U.S. Navy just launched the next best thing into the seven seas. Christened the USS Zumwalt and commissioned into active service on October 15, this high-tech beast of a warship is the Navy’s newest, most advanced fleet member currently on the high seas.

USS Zumwalt /

USS Zumwalt underway

It’s also the largest, making it a formidable foe and offering the promise of how tomorrow’s technology will keep our sailors safe at sea in wartime. The destroyer’s sizable deck is expansive, with room to host an impressive array of fighting craft, including Joint Strike Fighters, MV-22 Ospreys, and unmanned vehicles.

Captained by none other than James A. Kirk — and no, we are not making that up; we suspect he’s an ancestor of James Tiberius — this futuristic multi-mission destroyer features “a state-of-the-art electric propulsion system, wave-piercing tumblehome hull, stealth design, and the latest warfighting technology and weaponry available,” per the Navy’s official statement.

Former Naval Intelligence Officer and Co-Founder of Lightspeed Innovations, Ellen Chang offered Recursor her thoughts on the recent commissioning of the USS Zumwalt.

USS Zumwalt /

USS Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer being floated out of dry dock (photo courtesy

“Our Navy has just launched one of the most advanced destroyers,” Chang said. ”It’ll have eyes and ears onboard and be able to network offensively and defensively with off-board systems. We are very excited about the additional force the Zumwalt class brings to the table!”

Part of that advantage? The Zumwalt’s stealth capabilities which, while not as advanced as the cloaking device on a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, are still advanced enough to make it hard for enemies to find the warship no matter where it is in relation to the shore or other ships.

The warship generates approximately 78 megawatts of power, almost as much as a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. While that won’t get Marty McFly back to the future, it’s more power than any other cruiser sports and enough to fuel all the ship’s systems with energy to spare, making it optimal for incorporating emerging technologies and advanced firing capabilities.

That’s right, Optimus. Be jealous.

Updated 7/27/17: Check out the online 360º tour of the USS Zumwalt. It’s pretty cool to see how this ship works!