Get ready for this: the skipper of the newest, most futuristic ship the U.S. Navy has ever built is none other than Capt. James Kirk.
Let that settle in for a second.
Almost a full 50 years from the birth of the fictional Capt. James T. Kirk in 1966, the real Capt. James A. Kirk (no relation) is taking the helm of the USS Zumwalt, reports Dylan Stableford of Yahoo News.
Kirk, a native of Bethesda, Md., was commissioned at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1990 and has served in a variety posts as a “surface warfare officer,” according to his online bio. “Ashore, Captain Kirk has served as Executive Assistant to the Navy’s Chief of Legislative Affairs and as an Action Officer on the Joint Staff.”
Kirk obtained a master’s degrees in national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College and U.S. Army War College, where he undoubtedly heard more than his share of “Star Trek” jokes.
The similarities between the two end at the name.
James T.’s ship was named the Enterprise. James A.’s the Zumwalt. T.’s was for exploration and humanitarian missions, A.’s primarily for combat and area denial.
The Zumwalt is the Navy’s biggest destroyer and stands as the tip of the spear in Naval offensive operations. It’s technology allows it to mitigate minefields, target submarines, and assault shores with a barrage of low altitude radar-evading missiles, artillery guns, and one day maybe even a magnetic railgun (no joke).
It’s “tumblehome” tilted hull allows for a swift, quiet cut through the sea along with radar evasion. As if that weren’t enough, it’s the only destroyer that’s completely electric (the Tesla of naval combat).
Finally, unlike the USS Enterprise, it looks cool.