The U.S. Navy's newest destroyer is captained by James Kirk

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Dec 11, 2015, 6:52 PM EST (Updated)

Star Trek fans know that James Kirk captains one of the most innovative ships in his fleet. What Star Trek fans don’t know is that I’m not talking about the final frontier. 

This particular captain works for the United States Navy, not the United Federation of Planets. The ship in question is a destroyer, not a Constitution Class vessel. And this Captain James Kirk isn’t played by William Shatner’s ego. 

Amusingly, the U.S. Navy has given the role of captain of the U.S.S. Zumwalt to Captain James A. Kirk.

Captain James A. Kirk has a prestigious Naval career and has worked as an executive assistant to the Navy’s Chief of Legislative Affairs, as well as an action officer on the Joint Staff. He has likely been the target of more Star Trek jokes than the average person.

According to Business Insider, the Zumwalt was built not only for stealth but for efficiency: The warship has electric propulsion and automated systems that reduce the size of the crew. 

The Zumwalt will cost taxpayers $4.4 billion and is the first ship of three in its class; originally, the Navy had planned 32 ships, but the program was shrunk due to budget concerns.

And that’s the real difference between the two Kirks (besides the fact that one is fictional): James Tiberius never had to deal with cost overruns. 

(Via BusinessInsider)