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DDG-51 Arleigh Burke - Upgrades

Navy destroyers have historically been retired by 30 years of service. In recent force planning for ships, the Navy uses notional estimated service lives of 35 years for Aegis-capable cruisers and all current classes of destroyers.

There has been no determination to use DDG 51 designs, solutions, processes, systems or shipyards in the DD-21 program. Rumors to the contrary, the Navy states that there is no "DDG 51 Class Transition" program under which later DDG 51 class ships would be configured to accommodate DD 21 mission systems and would perhaps then evolve to become the DD 21 Class. There is no plan, proposal, or program under consideration that causes DDG 51 ships to meet DD 21 requirements.

The DDG 51 baseline upgrade plan incrementally improves DDG 51 systems in a time phased manner. These improvements are centered on currently planned upgrades included in Aegis Baseline 6 Phase III, Baseline 7 Phase I, Baseline 7 Phase II, and selected implementation of Smart Ship technologies. Some of these capabilities are planned for backfit into CG 47 class ships. The Navy plans to upgrade the ship's multifunctional phased array radar to improve its capabilities while operating in littoral environments and add new capabilities to permit sharing targeting data with other Navy and joint sensors and defend against theater ballistic missiles.

Since 1994, the ship self-defense capability on this class of destroyers has been limited. In 1999, the Navy had assessed the ship self-defense capability of this class as having moderate capability against the near-term threat requirement, low to moderate capability against the mid-term threat requirement, and low capability against the far-term threat requirement. The Navy's representation of the ship self-defense capability of this class may be overstated with regard to its weapon systems. The assessment is based on the assumption that the class has been equipped with the Phalanx Block 1A, but as of September 30, 1999, only 13 of the 28 destroyers in the fleet have this variant. Alternatively, the assessment assumed that the destroyers were equipped with only the electronic support version of SLQ-32, when in fact 11 of the 28 destroyers in the fleet are equipped with the upgraded electronic warfare version of SLQ-32. The Navy expects to upgrade DDG 51-78 with CEC, the baseline 6 version of the Aegis weapon system, an upgraded Standard Missile II variant, and NULKA. The Navy plans to install the ESSM on DDG 79 and subsequent ships. The Navy expects these upgrades to give these ships a high capability against both the near- and mid-term threat requirements and moderate capability against the far-term threat requirement.

DDG-51 Smart Ship

The DDG 51 Class was developed in three incremental flights, with upgraded technology and capability built into each subsequent hull. Roughly two dozen improvements are planned for the class under two major upgrade programs: DDG Smart Ship and DDG modernization. Each will lead to reduced labor and manning and improved quality of life. The upgrades aren't all being done at once. A new navigation system, for example, was installed on DDG 85 McCampbell, and every destroyer that was subsequently built. An integrated bridge system was installed starting with DDG 94 Nitze.

The major Smart Ship technologies include:

  • Reverse-osmosis desalination plants: Creates more fresh water for the crew, which means no more short showers. Started with DDG 64 Carney.
  • Video data distribution system: Displays all images from remote video cameras on one monitor with "channels." Started with DDG 72 Mahan.
  • Shipwide interior wireless communications system: advanced hand-held radios for communications. Started with DDG 72 Mahan.
  • Battleforce Tactical Trainer: realistic-scenario training at sea or in port. Started with DDG 79 Oscar Austin.
  • Satellite telephone: Allows sailors to call home and access the Internet. Started with DDG 79 Oscar Austin.
  • Automated common diagrams system: an electronic display that shows damage to systems and what needs to be fixed or shut off during an emergency. Started with DDG 79 Oscar Austin.
  • Machinery control system and color graphic displays: Ties together inputs from the bridge, engineering, damage control and repair lockers onto 12 consoles throughout the ship. Started with DDG 83 Howard.
  • Self-service laundry: two washing machines, three dryers, a change machine and detergent dispenser. Started with DDG 85 McCampbell.
  • Enhanced integrated condition assessment system: real-time collection of more than 400 hull, mechanical and electrical sensors. The system automatically monitors equipment, which does away with handwritten logs. Started with DDG 89 Mustin.
  • Advanced food service: galley machinery with faster cooking times, more capacity and less cleanup. Cuts the number of sailors needed for mess cooking. Starting with DDG 103.
  • New watertight doors: Called the Mafo-Holtkamp reduced-maintenance doors, they require 1,200 fewer man-hours per ship per year to maintain. Starting with DDG 103.

DDG-51 Mid-life Modernization

The modernization element of the DDG 51 upgrades became more clear when Navy Secretary Gordon England sent his modernization DDG plan to Congress. England, in an 01 April 2004 report to Congress, proposed installing the latest technologies on DDGs 110 through 112, then using those as a model to backfit DDGs 51 through 69 from 2010 through 2016. After 2016, the Navy will begin retrofitting DDGs 70 through 109 as they reach 17 years of service life. The oldest ships will be upgraded first, the report said. "The overall objective of the modernization plan is to ensure that the 62 ships of the class will be viable and affordable with effective warfighting capability for the entire 35-year life of each ship," the report said. The main goals are both to modernize combat systems and hull, mechanical and electrical systems to decrease workload, and also to improve quality of life. The report said modernizing all 62 ships will save almost $3 billion in manpower costs.

Mid-life modernization enables CG47 and DDG 51 class ships to achieve 35 year service life. The average life of unmodernized surface combatants is less than 20 years. Current 22 CG47s and 62 DDG 51s are required to achieve CNO's 2020 force structure. The CG and DDG Mod Programs consists of upgrades to address changes in technology and likely threats since initial design that will ensure these ships are relevant through the 2020's. 4 AEGIS ships can be modernized to achieve almost twice the current average service life for less than the cost of 1 new AEGIS combatant.

  • Hull strengthening and stability mods to correct class issues
  • Smart Ship type installations to save manpower through better use of technology
  • Use of COTS to field 2nd and 3rd spirals of OA computing plant to support affordable and rapid future capability upgrades.
  • Improvement to strike group interoperability and data sharing
  • Improved capability against complex, high speed/maneuverable ASCMs
  • Improved AAW capability against small fast targets in clutter environment
  • Improved littoral SA and hard kill against low flying a/c and fast in-shore attack craft
  • Improved USW and enhanced torpedo defense, especially in littorals
  • Improved Naval Surface Fires Support accuracy and range
DDG Proposed Upgrades Building and Transforming the Existing Fleet
  • ASW: SQQ 89A(V) 15
  • Robust Joint Command & Control
  • Tactical Tomahawk
  • MH-60R
  • TBMD & Littoral SigPro
  • OA Computing Environment,
  • Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC)
  • Force Protection: CIWS BLK 1B, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, SM-6

DDG-51 - Other Upgrades

The US Navy is a recognized leader in the development of hydrodynamic technologies for improved ship power and fuel savings. Stern flap and bulbous bow are two technologies that have demonstrated cost and fuel savings. The application of the stern flap to naval destroyers is a recent innovation. The stern flap originated from stern, or transom, wedge research conducted in the 1980s. Stern wedges or flaps have been installed on naval destroyers to create a vertical lift at the transom and to modify the distribution of pressure on the after portion of the hull. The Navy reports better fuel efficiency, higher top speed, and reduced emissions. The cost of implementation, $170,000, can be recouped within approximately one to two years. The Navy also found that refitting a bulbous bow on a DDG-51 Class Destroyer results in tremendous fuel savings from reduced ship resistance. Although the original funding for this project was $3.4 million, savings for 50 ships in the DDG-51 Class are estimated at $200 million. The bulbous bow concept has been well received, and as a result of the great potential for cost savings, bow designs for future ships are being reexamined. The success of the bulbous bow retrofit has resulted in the Navy aggressively pursuing spin-off technologies with the potential for similar fuel savings.

The Navy planned to begin deployment of the remote minehunting vehicle system on a select number of Arleigh Burke class Flight IIA destroyers beginning in 2005. One of the greatest threats to today's naval battlegroup is mines. In fact, of the 18 U.S. Navy ships destroyed or damaged in conflicts since 1950, mines caused no fewer than 14 of those casualties. To give the modern battlegroup the optimum chance of survival in hostile "brown water" regions, the Program Executive Office for Mine & Undersea Warfare (PEO MUW) began the development of an organic mine-hunting capability to be carried aboard the Navy's Aegis destroyers. These ships are traditionally among the first surface combatants to enter the littorals ahead of a battlegroup.

The RMS is comprised of five subsystems: the Remote Minehunting Vehicle (RMV); the AN/AQS-20A (Q-20) towed sensor for minehunting detection and identification; the launch and recovery system; the data link system - half of which is on the RMV, the other half positioned aboard ship; and the software, called the Remote Minehunting Functional Segment (RMFS), which resides within the combat system aboard ship. Once launched from the host ship, the vehicle deploys a towed variable depth sensor (VDS) designed to detect, localize, classify and identify moored and bottom mines in deep and shallow water. The 23-foot long vehicle searches for the mines under the surface of the water. A streamlined combination snorkel and antenna mast, which draws air to the vehicle's 370 hp Cummins diesel engine, will be its only visible feature above the surface. The remote minehunting vehicle can search for mines autonomously along a pre-programmed track, or can be controlled manually in real-time from the host ship by a single operator. All control and display functions will be integrated with the ship's AN/SQQ-89 undersea warfare combat system, with mine contact data linked to the Aegis combat system.

RMS was designed for installation aboard Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. As of early 2003 plans called for RMS to be first installed aboard the destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) in 2004. On 30 September 1999 Ingalls Shipbuilding Inc., Pascagoula, Miss., was awarded a $11,480,501 modification to previously awarded contract N00024-98-C-2307 to exercise an option to provide for installation of the remote minehunting system on the FY 99 Arleigh Burke AEGIS class destroyers, DDGs 93 and 95. Work was to be performed in Pascagoula, Miss., and was expected to be completed by April 2004.

By the end of 2002 it had been decided that the Remote Minehunting System [RMS] would not be installed on DDGs 97-102 as originally planned, in part because of the system's requirement for the host to remain in close proximity preventing freedom of maneuver and multimission tasking. The US Navy completed technical evaluation and training of the remote minehunting system (RMS) aboard USS Bainbridge (DDG-96) in Panama City, Fla. 28 July 2008. Prior to installation on Bainbridge, this first Lockheed Martin RMS from limited-rate initial production underwent similar testing and evaluation in the test facility waters aboard a contract ship. The evaluation enables the Navy to continue training on the system, designed as part of the mine warfare mission package for the Littoral Combat Ship.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:45:14 ZULU