The USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), a guided missile destroyer, has conducted the first live fire test of the MK 57 Vertical Launching System at the Naval Air Weapons Center Weapons Division Sea Test Range, Point Mugu.

During the test, the destroyer successfully detected and engaged an anti-ship cruise missile threat by firing a Standard Missile (SM-2).

DDG 1000 programme manager captain Matt Schroeder said: “Today’s successful test not only demonstrates the ship’s capability to fire missiles and conduct self-defence, it is also a significant step toward more advanced combat system testing and operations for our navy’s most technically innovative warship.

“The USS Zumwalt crew and Surface Development Squadron One are working hand-in-hand with the acquisition community to advance this ship’s operational capability.”

The USS Zumwalt is the lead ship of its class. The US Navy accepted the delivery of the ship in April this year.

The destroyer is around 610ft long and 80ft wide, making it significantly larger compared to the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

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It is capable of carrying out a wide range of surface, undersea and aviation missions in open-ocean and near-shore environments.

Zumwalt commanding officer captain Gary Cave said: “Today’s successful firing event is a critical milestone in the maturation of this incredible ship class and represents the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work and partnership of Zumwalt’s talented crew and the engineers, designers, and programmers helping us to bring her capabilities to the fleet.

“It is a day we’ve been looking forward to and demonstrates the strides we are taking to add combat capability to our surface force.”

The vessel will continue tactical training and operational scenario engagement to achieve initial operational capability next year.