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8/2/2014 4:29:38 AM

US Navy's answer to rising China: $3 billion warship that can sneak up on coastlines undetected and fire missiles at twice the speed of sound

A super-stealthy warship that could underpin the U.S. Navy's China strategy will be able to sneak up on coastlines virtually undetected and pound targets with electromagnetic 'railguns' right out of a sci-fi movie.

But at more than $3 billion a pop, critics say the new DDG-1000 destroyer sucks away funds that could be better used to bolster a thinly stretched conventional fleet.

One outspoken admiral in China has scoffed that all it would take to sink the high-tech American ship is an armada of explosive-laden fishing boats.

With the first of the new ships set to be delivered in 2014, the stealth destroyer is being heavily promoted by the Pentagon as the most advanced destroyer in history - a silver bullet of stealth.

The DDG-1000 and other stealth destroyers of the Zumwalt class feature a wave-piercing hull that leaves almost no wake, electric drive propulsion and advanced sonar and missiles.

But Rear Adm. Zhang Zhaozhong, an outspoken commentator affiliated with China's National Defense University, scoffed at the hype surrounding the ship, saying that despite its high-tech design it could be overwhelmed by a swarm of fishing boats laden with explosives. If enough boats were mobilized some could get through to blow a hole in its hull, he said.
'It would be a goner,' he said recently on state broadcaster CCTV's military channel.

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US Navy's answer to rising China: $3 billion warship that can sneak up on coastlines undetected and fire missiles at twice the speed of soundUS Navy's answer to rising China: $3 billion warship that can sneak up on coastlines undetected and fire missiles at twice the speed of sound

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