The first Zumwalt-class destroyer has hit the open seas. The hulking destroyer, the US Navy's largest, set sail out of Bath Iron Works in Maine today, destined to complete its first round of sea trials in the open ocean. This matches with our reports from last month, which pointed to a December 7 launch date.

"We are absolutely fired up to see Zumwalt get underway. For the crew and all those involved in designing, building, and readying this fantastic ship, this is a huge milestone," the ship's first commanding officer, Capt. James Kirk (seriously), told the Associated Press.

While Captain Kirk (sorry, we couldn't resist) certainly sounds excited to get underway with the Zumwalt, shipyard personnel will conduct the initial at-sea trials. As we previously reported, delivery is slated for spring of 2016.

For the employees at Bath, Zumwalt's departure was a bittersweet moment. The AP reports that over 200 people, including both BIW employees and residents, were on hand as the destroyer sailed down the Kennebec River.

"This is pretty exciting. It's a great day to be a shipbuilder and to be an American," one employee told the AP. "It's the first in its class. There's never been anything like it. It looks like the future."

We couldn't agree more.


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