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. Flight III baseline being developed to integrate Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) to replace AN/SPY-1D(V). The first DDG Flight III is planned in FY16.
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.
Manpower optimization initiatives have been sought to leverage new technology and reduce costs. Reductions have been achieved across all DDG 51 Class Flights. For example, initial Flight IIA Billet Allotment (BA) was 333 officers and enlisted personnel. Policies have been implemented and new technologies deployed to reduce billets by 35 to 298, as reflected in the Ship Manpower Document (SMD), dated September 2011, for Flight IIA (DDG103-110).
The ships' Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) System provides superior long range multi-target detection and engagement capability with two embarked Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) MK-III helicopters (Flight IIA, DDG 79 and follow-on ships).DDG 91 and follow-on ships employ the littoral variant SPY-1D(V). The Advanced Tomahawk Weapon ControlSystem (DDGs 79-95) and the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (DDG 96 and follow-on ships) allow employment of multiple variants of Tomahawk missiles for strike warfare.
A DDG modernization program is underway to provide a comprehensive mid-life upgrade that will ensure the DDG 51 class will maintain mission relevance and remain an integral part of the Navy?s Sea Power 21 Plan. The modernization changes are also being introduced to new construction ships to increase the baseline capabilities of the newest ships in the class, and to provide commonality between new construction ships and modernized in-service ships. The goal of the DDG modernization effort is to reduce workload requirements and increase war fighting capabilities while reducing total ownership cost to the Navy. In-service ships can be modernized by two distinct packages ? Combat Systems (C/S) and Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical (HM&E) upgrades. The HM&E package includes new Gigabit Ethernet connectivity in the engineering plant and a Digital Video Surveillance System (DVSS), along with the Integrated Bridge Navigation System (IBNS), an Advanced Galley, and other habitability modifications.
A complete Open Architecture computing environment is the foundation for ships receiving the C/S war fighting improvements. This upgrade plan consists of a new Multi-Mission Signal Processor to accommodate additional Ballistic Missile Defense capability and an improvement to radar performance in the littoral regions. Additional upgrades include: Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), CIWS Blk 1B, SEWIP, and NULKA. The Arleigh Burke-class MK-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) will be upgraded to support SM-3 and newer variants of the SM missile family. Throughout their expected service life, DDG 51 destroyers will continue to provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities with the added benefit of sea-based protection from the ballistic missile threat.
Another capability that has been incrementally added to the DDG 51 class is Ballistic Missile Defense Capability (BMD). Additional funding was required to incorporate Advanced Capability Build (ACB) 16 upgrades forimproved radar and Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability and advancedelectronic warfare. From 2004 through 2008, 15 DDG-51s were modified for the BMD mission. These modifications include new software forthe Aegis Combat System, an advanced signal processor, and the SM3 interceptor missiles. The design of the Flight IIA ships will be modified to include an upgraded Aegis combat system currently being developed. The Navy will also replace the existing SPS-67 radar with SPQ-9B, currently installed on several Navy ships, beginning in fiscal year 2014.
The DDG 51 line was restarted in FY 2010 to continue production of this highly capable platform. Contracts for four Flight IIA ships were awarded from FY 2010 through FY 2012. Additional Flight IIA ships are programmed in FY 2013 and beyond. Aegis Baseline 7.1R will be replaced with the Open Architecture Advanced Capability Build (ACB)-12 or follow-on Aegis Combat System, which is in development through the DDG Modernization program. A multi-year contract is scheduled for award in FY 2013. This contract will include DDG 51 Flight IIAs, and DDG Flight IIIs which the Navy will begin to procure in FY 2016.
Flight III baseline is being developed to integrate Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) to replace AN/SPY-1D(V). The Navy's Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) will be a next-generation radar system designed to provide ballistic missile defense, air defense, and surface warfare capabilities. AMDR will consist of an S-band radar for ballistic missile defense and air defense, X-band radar for horizon search, and a radar suite controller that controls and integrates the two radars. AMDR will initially support DDG 51 Flight III. The Navy expects AMDR to provide the foundation for a scalable radar architecture that can be used to defeat advanced threats. The Navy plans to install a 14-foot variant of AMDR on Flight III DDG 51s starting in 2019.
As of October 2013, there are 29 Aegis BMD ships in the Fleet. The Aegis BMD 3.6.1 program capability had been installed on 24 Aegis warships, BMD 4.0.1 has been installed on two cruisers, and BMD 4.0.2 has been installed on two destroyers. BMD ships have long-range surveillance and tracking (LRS&T) capability with an ability to provide cueing in defense of the homeland, and a BMD engagement capability using the SM-3 missile to conduct active defense against short-to-intermediate range ballistic missiles. The Future Years Defense Plan increases the total number of funded Aegis BMD capable ships to 37 by FY18.
The FY 2014 Navy Program sustains funding for forward bases guided missile destroyers in Rota, Spain. These changes will increase the presence in the Asia-Pacific, as the four destroyers based in Spain will replace 10 rotationally deployed ships from the United States that conducted the BMD mission. This enables six destroyers to rotationally deploy to the Asia-Pacific.
The US will send two more missile defense system destroyers to Japan by 2017, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said 08 April 2014, adding that the decision was related to North Korea’s recent missile launches. "In response to Pyongyang's pattern of provocative and destabilizing actions, I can announce today that the US is planning to forward-deploy two additional AEGIS ballistic missile defense ships to Japan," Hagel said during a news conference at Japan's defense ministry. The US already has five missile defense capable ships in the area. "This move to significantly bolster our naval presence is another action that strengthens our alliance and increases deterrence against North Korean aggression," Hagel said.
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list