The USS Zumwalt was named after Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, the youngest Chief of Naval Operations in US history. The ship is a guided missile destroyer, which means that its main purpose is to provide anti-aircraft support to the US Navy's fleet.The ship's construction began in October 2008. It was launched in October 2013, and put into commission by the US Navy in October 2016.The Navy currently has two other Zumwalt-class destroyers — the USS Michael Monsoor and the USS Lyndon B. Johnson — aside from the USS Zumwalt. The ship cost twice as much as some of the Navy's most powerful ships, its Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, according to the Associated Press.The three Zumwalt-class destroyers cost around $22.4 billion in research and development in total, according to Bloomberg. General Dynamics, the owner of shipyard Bath Iron Works that built the USS Zumwalt, constructed a $40 million facility just to accommodate the building of the massive ships.The ship's knife-like bow is said to make it more stable in heavy seas compared to other surface combatants like destroyers and cruisers, according to Defense News.The 600-foot ship can accommodate 158 crew, according to Naval Technology. It has a range of 100 nautical miles, and a maximum speed of 30 knots. The Zumwalt produces around 78 megawatts of power, similar to the energy generated by a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, according to the US Indo-Pacific Command.The ship is equipped with multiple sensors, including a Multifunction Radar, according to Naval News. Per the publication, it also has 80 advanced vertical launch cells for specific types of missiles.Despite their cost, the Zumwalts have been plagued by equipment problems. Soon after its commissioning in 2016, the USS Zumwalt broke down in the Panama Canal. The second ship in its class, the USS Michael Monsoor, failed during sea trials the following year.As a 2018 report from Military Watch Magazine noted, the Zumwalts suffered from poorly functioning weapons, stalling engines and an underperformance in their stealth capabilities, among other shortcomings.They have almost entirely failed to fulfill the originally intended role of multipurpose destroyer warships, while the scale of cost overruns alone brings the viability of the program into question even if the destroyers were able to function as intended, the outlet said. The Zumwalts lack several vital features, including anti-ship missiles, anti-torpedoes, and long-range area-air defense missiles, military expert Sebastian Roblin wrote in a 2021 National Interest article. Roblin called the destroyers an ambitious but failed ship concept.And, noted Roblin, their weaponry wasn't cheap. The ship's long-range land-attack projectile guided shells cost around $800,000 each — around the same price as a cruise missile. The munitions were eventually canceled, considered too pricey to merit producing. The Zumwalt, said Roblin, was produced based on unrealistic estimates that banked on minimal cost, despite coming in 50% over budget. After a disappointing performance, the Navy considered a host of possible options for the Zumwalts, including refitting them as dedicated ship hunters which would mean sacrificing complex anti-aircraft and anti-submarine capabilities for a specialized long range anti-ship role, Military Watch Magazine reported in 2018.That same year, US Strategic Command, Gen. John Hyten posited that the destroyers could be refitted with nuclear cruise missiles. But earlier this year, the Navy decided to fit the ships with hypersonic missiles by 2025, USNI News reported. Lockheed Martin will be integrating these missiles on the ship, per Military+Aerospace Electronics.Navy Commander of Operations Adm. Mike Gilday told Breaking Defense in February 2021 that the Zumwalt-class ships would be the first to test out the hypersonic technology.That's a focus for us to field that system on the Zumwalt destroyers so that we can prove it and field it fast and then scale it, Gilday said.