A new stealth destroyer being built for the U.S. Navy is slated to cost the service branch $3 billion a ship.
The new DDG-1000 destroyer, which is expected to be delivered by 2014, contains state-of-the-art technology that makes it virtually undetectable as it sneaks up on coastlines and pound targets with electromagnetic railguns.
The warship is regarded by the Pentagon as the most advanced destroyer in history -- a silver bullet of stealth, according to the Associated Press.
While the naval warfare service branch is counting on the ship to play a key role in missions in strategically important regions such as Asia and the Pacific, the new warship could just as easily be used in the Gulf Region.
But as the DDG-1000 has the ability to carry out missions both on the high seas and in shallows closer to shore, military insiders see the ship as being more important in Asia because of the region's many island nations and China's long Pacific coast.
With its stealth, incredibly capable sonar system, strike capability and lower manning requirements -- this is our future, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, told AP in April after visiting the shipyard in Maine where they are being built.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has also said that the Navy will be deploying 60 percent of its fleet worldwide to the Pacific by 2020, and although he didn't bring up the stealth destroyers, he did say that the new high-tech ships will be a big part of its shift.
Boasting the newest weapon and defense technology, The DDG-1000 features a wave-piercing hull that leaves almost no wake, electric drive propulsion and advanced sonar and missiles.
And while the ships are longer and heavier than existing destroyers, they will reportedly have half the crew because of new automated systems and appear to be little more than a small fishing boat on enemy radar, according to AP.
The ship is also said to be equipped with an electromagnetic railgun, which uses a magnetic field and electric current to fire a projectile at several times the speed of sound.
With so much to brag about, defense experts are wondering if $3 billion is too much money for future technology that is not guaranteed to pay off.
Whether the Navy can afford to buy many DDG-1000s must be balanced against the need for over 300 surface ships to fulfill the various missions that confront it, Dean Cheng, a China expert with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research institute in Washington, told AP. Buying hyperexpensive ships hurts that ability, but buying ships that can't do the job, or worse can't survive in the face of the enemy, is even more irresponsible.
The Navy is standing by the latest addition to its fleet, as officials tell AP that the technologies developed for the ship will inevitably be used in other vessels in the decades ahead.
The stealth destroyer carry's a $3.1 billion price tag, which is about twice the cost of the current destroyers, and balloons to $7 billion each when research and development is added in, according to the news outlet.