Oct. 20 (UPI) -- The first live fire test of the MK 57 Vertical Launching System on the first-in-class USS Zumwalt, using a Standard Missile-2, was executed successfully on the Naval Air Weapons Center Weapons Division Sea Test Range, Point Mugu, earlier this month.
The Zumwalt, delivered to the Navy in April, successfully showed off its ability to detect, track and engage an anti-ship cruise missile with an SM-2, the U.S. Navy announced this week.
The test also assessed the ship's ability to hold up against the shock and vibration of weapon firing, along with any hazards and degradations resulting from the live firing, the Navy said.
"Today's successful test not only demonstrates the ship's capability to fire missiles and conduct self-defense, it is also a significant step toward more advanced combat system testing and operations for our Navy's most technically innovative warship," DDG 1000 program manager Capt. Matt Schroeder said Monday in a press release.
At 610 feet long and 80 feet wide, which is 100 feet longer and 13 feet wider than the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, Zumwalt has the space to conduct a wide array of surface, undersea and aviation missions, the Navy has said.
Zumwalt's commanding officer Capt. Gary Cave said the test was "a critical milestone," and thanked crew, designers, engineers and programmers for helping it succeed through "a tremendous amount of hard work."
"It is a day we've been looking forward to and demonstrates the strides we are taking to add combat capability to our surface force," Cave said.
The goal is to obtain Initial Operational Capability next year through continuing tactical training and operational scenario engagement of the warship, which is homeported in San Diego, the Navy said.