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Kirk Takes Command Of ... Submarine?

Capt. James A. Kirk is at the helm of the USS Zumwalt

He's a couple centuries early, but here he is -- Capt. James Kirk.

Well, James A. Kirk. And he's not from Iowa.

Kirk is the new commander of the USS Zumwalt, a ship that looks a lot like a submarine, but isn't. It "introduces new hull form and machinery concepts that could be the harbinger of the next generation of surface warships," said Naval expert Norm Polmar. "In some respects, the advancements are comparable to the Monitor of Civil War fame that revolutionized naval ship design."

The ship, which is described more succinctly as a "guided missile destroyer," cost $3.5 billion to build. It's named for Adm. Elmo Zumwalt Jr., the U.S. Navy's youngest chief of naval operations, who died in 2000.

It is 600 feet in length, and travels at a speed of more than 30 knots (or 35 mph). By comparison, the original USS Enterprise was just less than 950 feet in length, and had a top speed of Warp 9. The re-imagined Enterprise in 2009's "Star Trek" and "Star Trek: Into Darkness" is more than 1,200 feet, according to some sources.

This Capt. Kirk was born in Bethesda, Md., but was raised in Hershey, Pa. He was commissioned at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1990, according to his official biography, and has served on a number of ships throughout his career.

Before being named the prospective captain of the vessel, which is set to launch in 2015, Kirk was the executive assistant to the director of surface warfare for the Navy.

Source: Breaking Defense


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