Sleek. Deadly. And utterly BADASS!
These are just a few words that describe America's mightiest Navy ships, both past and present. Though we love them all, the designs and actions of the following nine vessels have cemented their legacies in an annuals of naval history!
The Zumwalt is one of the most capable vessels in the Navy. It's the world's biggest destroyer at six hundred feet. Two of the features include a tumblehome hull and advanced engines. The slanted hull allows for a stable platform, and the angles make the ship harder to detect by radar. The engines power the entire boat – not separate generators, which is new for the Navy. The Zumwalt is kickass because of its design and how the ship can be updated easily.
This attack sub is a little-known badass. The Virginia is a newer sub for the Navy, and like most, it's multi-role. The sub is nuclear-powered (no refueling!) and carries both torpedoes and cruise missiles. Also, the Virginia's max dive depth is 800 feet. Being nuclear, she runs quieter than most submarines. The Virginia also carries passengers. A tower chamber allows Navy SEALS to exit and enter the sub while underwater. For specific missions, attached to the hull is a small underwater vehicle.
USS Arleigh Burke
The Arleigh Burke is not one but a class of rugged boats. As the first of its kind, this destroyer handles numerous different missions. These are anti-sub, anti-aircraft, ship actions, and cruise missiles. Currently, the Navy has seventy. Like a Swiss Army knife, these ships are the Navy's jack of all trades.
Named for the famous American admiral, the Nimitz is the oldest nuclear carrier. The air group has ninety planes, typical for its class. The Nimitz supported troops during Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The nuclear reactor does not need refueling for years, which allows the Nimitz to be ready faster when needed.
The Olympia was the Navy's flagship during the Battle of Manila in the Spanish American War. The Olympia served from 1895 to 1922. The Spanish fleet was defeated, with Olympia leading the charge. The Olympia's most significant service was returning World War I's Unknown Soldier to the U.S. Preserved as a memorial after her service, the permanent berth is in Philadelphia. She is now the oldest active steel-hulled warship.
A mix of luck, skill, and grit allows the Enterprise to be on this list. Nicknamed the "Gray Ghost," the carrier was only one of two U.S. carriers that lasted through the war. The ship served in all the major Pacific battles from 1942 to 1945. Despite constant torpedo, bomb and kamikaze hits, the Enterprise was never sunk.
Also known as Mighty Mo, Missouri is one of the most famous battleships. As a badass, the BB61 served in World War 2, Korea, and Gulf War I. The Japanese government surrendered on her foredeck, ending the war. Reactivated in the 1980s, the ship served as a flagship in the Persian Gulf. The enormous 16-inch guns again bombarded the enemy. Tomahawk missiles, drones, and modern electronics only made this ship deadlier.
The mighty Monitor stands alone on this post. The ship dueled famously with the world's first ironclad with a rotating turret and defeated the CSS Merrimac in 1862. The Monitor's design was so original that the name became a ship type. The ship's top barely stuck out of the water; only the turret was a visible target. Sadly, the Monitor sank in a storm later in 1862 and is now a war memorial.
With a nickname like Old Ironsides, a ship must be tough. Built mainly of oak, the Constitution was launched in the early 1800s. The frigate earned the title during the War of 1812, battling the HMS Guerriere. The crew saw many cannonballs bouncing off the thick wood and yelled that the "sides were made of iron."
The Constitution never retired and is now the oldest, active ship in the U.S. Navy. That length of service and reputation makes her our favorite ship on the list!