A United States Navy destroyer, the USS Oscar Austin, entered the Bay of Tallinn this morning and is now docked at berth 17, outside the area of the cruise ship moorings.
In a departure from typical protocol for such visits, the destroyer is now in a civilian capacity following taking part in Baltops, the biggest annual naval exercise on the Baltic: it is hosting participants in an international youth camp organized by a Narva-based youth center, children from a children's home and a social special needs center, uudised.err.ee reported.
The vessel is an Arleigh Burke-class of guided missile destroyer (DDGs), and is built around the Aegis Combat System that uses powerful computers and radars to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets.
The system, the world's most advanced, is used by four other nations, including the Norwegian and the Spanish navies. There are more than 100 Aegis-equipped vessels worldwide.
The Arleigh Burke class vessels were designed as multi-role destroyers with an emphasis on anti-aircraft, anti-submarine duties. They are capable of launching land strikes with Tomahawk missiles, and the Oscar Austin did that during the 2003 Iraq strikes in the early part of the war.
The ship has an overall length of 154 meters, and is designed with stealth technologies to make it less visible on radar.
The Oscar Austin is named after a U.S. Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, in 1969, in the Vietnam War.