On a lighter note: Captain Kirk takes command of a stealthy warship at sea…as Russian billionaire sails his copycat design up the Thames

by | Sep 9, 2016 | History, On a Lighter Note, Science, Seradata News, Technology | 0 comments

Yes – there really is a Captain James Kirk but he is not a star ship captain. He has just taken command of the US Navy’s newest ship, the USS Zumwalt. While it has a crew of only 147 sailors and is formally called a destroyer, it actually has the tonnage of a World War 2 cruiser and, similarly, has cruiser-style six-inch (155mm) guns (mounted in enclosed turrets) to complement its cruise missile and anti-aircraft/anti-ship missile armament.

Although the warship does not have a Star Trek-style “cloaking device”, is has been specially shaped to reflect the minimum of radar energy. As such, the stealthy design looks more like a small fishing boat on enemy radar rather than the 600 foot (180 m) long giant that it is. Such stealth technology was previously applied to aircraft and certain military spacecraft to make them less visible to radar.

With its backward raked bow, it also resembles the earlier cruiser designs of World War 1 and before. Its cutting-edge design is obviously influencing others.

It was a tad surprising when a Russian billionaire, Andrey Melnichenko, showed off his new US$300 million Philippe Stark-designed super-yacht in London when he sailed it up the Thames. The ship, dubbed Motor Yacht A, looks surprisingly like a Zumwalt class destroyer. Perhaps designer Philippe Stark was having one of his stealthy copycat moments.

The Russian billionaire briefly parked it next to the real-life World War 2 cruiser and veteran of the D-Day bombardment, HMS Belfast. That venerable vessel has its six-inch guns famously aimed at the Scratchwood service station 18.5 km away on the M1 motorway. This is to emphasise their range, rather than due to any irritation over inflated petrol prices at Scratchwood.

Apart from being involved in the D-Day landings, HMS Belfast also did its bit to help Russia by guarding the Arctic convoys and helping to sink the German battlecruiser, Scharnhorst, in the Battle of the North Cape. Now that really was a warship.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Sea Launch to act as back up launch service for Asiasat

While the Falcon 9 launch vehicle of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is repidly becoming the commercial launch vehicle of choice Read more

Speculation that Intelsat 19 solar array jam was caused by Sea Launch interaction

Despite concerns over the jammed solar array of the spacecraft Intelsat 19 which uses the same Space Systems/Loral-built LS-1300 bus Read more

PICTURES: Sicral 1B launch

View from Sea Launch Commander of Sicral 1B launch, picture courtesy of the Italian Ministry of Defense. Launched today at Read more

LAUNCHWATCH: Successful launch of Italian satellite SICRAL 1B

The SICRAL 1B satellite, on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Defense, has been successfully launched today at 10.16 am Read more

Far from the warmth of the Sun

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

Fantasy and reality

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

The Great British race to reach orbit from UK (Updated)

The final flight in 1971 of Black Arrow, a British satellite carrier rocket developed in the 1960s, remains the first Read more

Astroscale gets funding to demo satellite removal

While the ELSa-D docking test mission is not going to plan in orbit due to thruster issues, its owner/developer Astroscale Read more