DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class
The DDG 51 class was named after a living person, the legendary Adm. Arleigh Burke, the most famous destroyerman of World War II. The Navy considers the newest Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be its most capable and survivable surface combatant. The DDG 51 was the first U.S. Navy ship designed to incorporate shaping techniques to reduce radar cross-section to reduce their detectability and likelihood of being targeted by enemy weapons and sensors. The composition of the fleet change rapidly during the 1990s as modern ARLEIGH BURKE guided missile AEGIS destroyers entered active commissioned service.
Originally designed to defend against Soviet aircraft, cruise missiles, and nuclear attack submarines, this higher capability ship is to be used in high-threat areas to conduct antiair, antisubmarine, antisurface, and strike operations. DDG 51s were constructed in flights, allowing technological advances during construction. Flight II, introduced in FY 1992, incorporates improvements to the SPY radar and the Standard missile, active electronic countermeasures and communications.
The Aegis guided missile destroyers are the US Navy's most powerful destroyer fleet. These highly-capable, multi-mission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of National Military Strategy.
The mission of Arleigh Burke-class is to conduct sustained combat operations at sea, providing primary protection for the Navy's aircraft carriers and battle groups, as well as essential escort to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces and auxiliary ships, and independent operations as necessary. The Arleigh Burkes are capable of fighting of air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
The Aegis Combat System, the world's foremost naval weapons systems, includes the AN/SPY-1D phased array radar, the most powerful air search radar in the Navy's inventory, which scans in all directions simultaneously to detect, track and engage hundreds of aircraft and missiles while continuously watching the sky for new targets from the sea to the stratosphere. State-of-the-art C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) systems provide Aegis destroyers and their crews with total situational awareness.
The ships are equipped with the MK-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS), which fires a combination of up to 96 Standard surface-to-air, Tomahawk surface-to-surface missiles and VLA antisubmarine missiles; and AN/SQQ-89 Undersea Warfare System, with a bow-mounted AN/SQS-53C sonar system.
Flight IIA, introduced in fiscal year 1994, includes the addition of two helicopter hangars that each accommodate a Seahawk (SH-60B) undersea warfare helicopter. This major upgrade program also has the LAMPS MK III Undersea Warfare Control System, with helicopter landing and replenishment facilities for the SH-60B. The new design also features a zonal electrical system, an advanced water purification system, and other shipboard improvements.
The potent offensive and defensive capabilities of Aegis destroyers are achieved with maximum survivability. Extensive topside armor is placed around vital combat systems and machinery spaces, and a large-waterplane-area hull form significantly improves seaseeking ability. Acoustic, infrared and radar signatures have been reduced, and vital shipboard systems are hardened against electromagnetic pulse and over-pressure damage. A comprehensive Collective Protection System guards against nuclear, chemical and biological agents. State-of-the-art propulsion and damage control systems are managed by an all new fiber-optic data multiplexing system.
Truly multi-mission combatants, Aegis destroyers are the most balanced surface warships ever built, with the weapons, electronics, helicopter support facilities, and propulsion, auxiliary and survivability systems to carry out the Navy's missions today, and into the new century.
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