US Building a New Better Arleigh Burke-class Missile Destroyer


A US guided missile destroyer. National Interest’s photo.

I have just had a post on China’s new 10,000-ton class destroyer that was launched on June 28. A day ago, on June 27, US Navy signed a contract on the construction of a new destroyer right before the launch of China’s new destroyer. I believe readers are interested in USN’s new warship; therefore, I reblog the full text of National Interest’s report on the warship below:

Huntington Ingalls Will Soon Build the Navy’s First Flight III Arleigh Burke-Class Missile Destroyer

The United States Navy has awarded Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding a contract modification to build the service’s first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided missile destroyer. The new ship will be named Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), which is the last of five destroyers the company was originally contracted to build in June 2013.

“We have proven our success in the DDG 51 class over the past 30 years, and our shipbuilders are ready now to build the first Flight III ship,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said in a statement.

“This will be the 35th Aegis destroyer we will build for the U.S. Navy in what has been one of our company’s most successful programs. These ships are in high demand, and this Flight III ship will be the most capable DDG 51-class ship ever built.”

The Navy is not releasing the value of the flight upgrade modification contract.

“As this award represents the first DDG 51 Flight III baseline contract award, and the Navy expects to release a competitive solicitation for additional DDG 51 class ships in the Flight III configuration in future years, the contract award amount is considered source selection sensitive information,” the Defense Department said in a June 27 statement announcing the contract award.

The new DDG 51 Flight III destroyers will incorporate Raytheon’s new AN/SPY-6 Advanced Missile Defense Radar (AMDR), which will replace the Arleigh Burke-class’ existing SPY-1 radar that was installed on previous versions of the ship. The new AN/SPY-6 active electronically scanned array radar incorporates Gallium Nitride-based transmit-receive modules and is thought to be 30 times more powerful than the AN/SPY-1.

To support the new Flight III systems, the new DDG-51 will have much greater installed power and cooling capacity. As part of those changes, the ship will receive new 4MW Rolls Royce electrical generators in place of the traditional 3MW generators found on previous ships of the class. The Flight III configuration also replaces the ship’s air conditioners with much more powerful units.

According to Huntington Ingalls, the five-ship destroyer multi-year procurement contract allows the company “to build ships more efficiently and creates greater strength and stability in the important supplier base.”

It was previously expected that the U.S. Navy would award rival Bath Iron Works the contract to build the first Flight III ships. It is not clear why the service has changed course to award Huntington Ingalls the contact for the first of the new Flight III destroyers.

The Flight III DDG-51 ships are set to become the backbone of the Navy’s fleet until the service designs and builds a follow-on Future Surface Combatant to replace the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and the Ticonderoga-class cruisers. The Flight III came about after it became clear that the Zumwalt-class destroyer was not going be well suited to dealing with the then-emerging ballistic missile threat. Moreover, the service could not build the Zumwalt-class destroyers in large numbers due to their exorbitant cost.

Note: This is National Interest’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

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8 Comments on “US Building a New Better Arleigh Burke-class Missile Destroyer”

  1. Joseph says:

    Of course they are. With the flop of the Zumwaltz and the structural catastrophy of the Arleigh Burke exposed by the Fitzgerald, the USN is in damage control to patch up a very big hole. With the flop of the Zumwaltz, the USN might have to resort to the beef-up version to the previous Arleigh Burke class, the ‘Mark 3’. With the flop of the Fitzgerald the USN was forced to rethink of the even older smaller Perry class ships, even considering recomissioning them. Recomissioning older ships means they have to deal with never ending repairs that the American often subjected junk warship recipients to do, such as Taiwan. Even Phillipines under Aquino refused American coast guard cutter junks in the budgetary horror that junks might cause. So it appears that USN has to hastily choose the ‘Mark 3’ in the impending launch of the type 055. It remains to be seen if the Mark 3 will only features better engines, or it will feature improved hull as well.

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    • Fugu says:

      All that show about affront and displeasure at the overpriced underperforming Zumwalts, F-35s and what-nots are “kabuki”. Yes, “kabuki”. What cares the soon-to-retire Pentagon admirals, generals, commandants, etc., and Congress’s reps as long as their pockets are lined with hefty commissions and pay-offs – whether today or after they retire. Politics in Am is sooo corrupt. It’s par for the course now. And Americans can’t get rid of them no matter how much they whine. Sad .. America … nothing great about it. They are just an exploited powerless fluff.

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  2. Red Flag says:

    It didn’t take long for the flaws in the Type 055 to come to light: This is quoted from Jane’s

    “…Military analyst Antony Wong Dong said the Type 055 had some “disappointing” design flaws. The relatively low positioning of its flat-array radar system would affect its range of detection, he said, while the use of light aluminium alloy in the upper decks would make it vulnerable to damage.”

    Regarding the use of light aluminium alloy in the upper decks, the Royal navy discovered that defect during the Falklands war and quickly stopped using aluminium because it burn so easily after battle damage. Mounting the radar so low on the ship is a mistake the Chinese should have been aware of. All other navies mount the radars as high as they can on their ship’s structure. Check for yourself.

    ““Despite its very modern stealth shape, the damage control capability is a big concern,” Wong said. “The design follows the Chinese convention, probably due to a lack of experience … in a combat situation.”

    Nothing more needs to be said! !

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    • tito says:

      If that’s really the case india shouldn’t be worry with 055 destroyer and now can focus on fixing toilet problems….

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    • Joseph says:

      So, who’s building the type 055, anyway? Jane’s or PLAN? The ship was not even in operation, the American could not wait to criticize it. I do not think that PLAN shared their design with Jane’s. How do they get the Information so quickly. Is it because of the flop of the Zumwaltz? As I recall, Jane’s review on the Arleigh Burke was nothing but good, in combat situation. And the ship end up to have weakness of being sodomized by a mere cargo ship. You don’t get that review on Jane’s. As the Popular Mechanic’s review, the ship’s design was basically the enlarged version of the 052D, a proven stealth design, as the 052D is very much feared by the USN that they stay clear of the ships. Obviously Anthony Wong Dong, being an American, or Hongkie, never have experience in operating combat ships or get the wrong idea of stealth design. In any case, the American is already in damage control. Bad publicity, especially by Chinese American writers, is the obvious media warfare. In the end, it is doubtful that the USN will challenge the 055 with its dual band radar in the open sea. They’ve been running away from the 052D, probably because of its stealth radar signature.

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    • Fugu says:

      Why the fixation with Chinese PLAN type 055 cruiser aneh? Sour grapes again? Whatever happened to your half completed aircraft carrier launched officially with such great fare many years ago? What a joke that was for all the world to see.

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  3. Simon says:

    In another word this is just a slightly upgraded 26yrs old destroyer to substitute the cancelled Zumwalt.

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  4. steve says:

    The F35 and Zumwalt has suffered cost overruns, overrated, overtime, over expectancy, glitches
    and multiple setbacks. What are the chances of this new ally B having a clean slate construction. Probably okay, if using the same Hull.

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