The DDG 51 class guided missile destroyers provide a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface environments. These ships respond to Low Intensity Conflict/Coastal and Littoral Offshore Warfare (LIC/CALOW) scenarios as well as open-ocean conflict independently or as units of Carrier Strike Groups (CSG), Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESG) and Missile Defense Action Groups. Named after famed World War II Officer and former Chief of Naval Operations, Arleigh Burke, DDG 51 class ships provide outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics while considering procurement and lifecycle support costs.
BATH, Maine (March 9, 2012) The future USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), and the final ship of the original 62-ship procurement of the DDG 51 class shipbuilding program.(U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works/Released)
DDG 51 class destroyers are equipped with the Navy’s Aegis Combat System, the world’s foremost integrated naval weapon system. When integrated with the Aegis Combat System, the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) will permit groups of ships and aircraft to link their radars to provide a composite picture of the battle space, effectively increasing the theater space. The capability is designed to provide the Navy with a 21st Century fighting edge.
Like most modern U.S. Navy surface combatants, DDG 51 utilizes gas turbine propulsion. Employing four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbines to produce 100,000 total shaft horsepower via a dual shaft design, Arleigh Burke class destroyers are capable of achieving 30 plus knot speeds in open seas.
The Arleigh Burke-class employs all-steel construction and is comprised of three separate variants or “Flights”; DDG 51-71 represent the original design and are designated Flight I ships, DDG 72-78 are Flight II ships, DDG 79-122 are built to the Flight IIA design. The Flight III variant is planned for introduction beginning with one ship in FY16.
The Flight IIA design includes the addition of the Kingfisher mine-avoidance capability, a pair of helicopter hangars which provide the ability to deploy with two organic LAMPS MK III MH-60 helicopters, blast-hardened bulkheads, distributed electrical system and advanced networked systems. Additionally, DDGs 91-96 provide accommodations for the A/N WLD-1 Remote Mine-hunting System.
Currently, the Navy has fourteen Arleigh Burke class destroyers under contract for new construction DDG 113-126. The Navy is relying on a stable and mature infrastructure while increasing the ship's air and missile defense capabilities through spiral upgrades to the weapons and sensor suites. These ships continue to be delivered at the highest quality while serial production has reduced costs and increased capabilities. The future JOHN FINN (DDG 113) and RAFAEL PERALTA (DDG 115) are expected to launch mid-2015. Start of fabrication ceremonies for the future PAUL IGNATIUS (DDG 117) and DANIEL INOUYE (DDG 118) occurred on Sept. 30 and Oct. 31 2014, respectively.
Beginning in FY 2016, the Navy plans to procure the Flight III variant which will replace the existing SPY-1D radar with an enhanced Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR). The AMDR will provide superior support in identifying potential targets through improvements in power, sensitivity and resistance to natural and man-made environments.
A DDG Modernization program is also underway for in-service ships, which commenced with the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) in mid-2010, to provide comprehensive mid-life upgrades that will ensure DDG 51 class ships maintain mission relevance. Please visit the Combatant Modernization Program page for more information on DDG 51 class modernization.