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 ship is an armada of explosive-laden fishing boats.
The first of the new ships are set to be delivered in 2014. The Pentagon calls them a perfect fit for what Washington now considers the most strategically important region in the world -- Asia and the Pacific.