Navy’s giant, stealthy new destroyer gets in the water

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Like a giant nose, forward hull body of the first-in-class Zumwalt, the largest U.S. Navy destroyer ever built, is seen in dry dock Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, in Bath, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Like a giant nose, forward hull body of the first-in-class Zumwalt, the largest U.S. Navy destroyer ever built, is seen in dry dock Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, in Bath, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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BATH, Maine (AP) — The largest destroyer ever built for the Navy is getting into the water for the first time — and the stealthy vessel looks unlike any U.S. warship before.

Without fanfare, Maine’s Bath Iron Works on Monday began the process of floating the 610-foot Zumwalt from a dry dock in the Kennebec River. Eventually, tugboats will position the warship dockside, where shipbuilders will continue working on it through the winter.

A christening ceremony was canceled earlier this month because of the partial federal government shutdown. The Navy shipbuilder hopes to hold a rescheduled ceremony in the spring.

The warship features an unusual wave-piercing hull and electric propulsion. Its low-slung shape minimizes its radar signature, making it stealthy. There are so many computers and so much automation that it’ll need fewer sailors too.

The first-in-class Zumwalt, the largest U.S. Navy destroyer ever built, is seen in dry dock Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, in Bath, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

The first-in-class Zumwalt, the largest U.S. Navy destroyer ever built, is seen in dry dock Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, in Bath, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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