First Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyers Successfully Complete Comprehensive Modernization Program
From Team Ships Public Affairs
5/04/2011 - The Navy officially accepted delivery of the future USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) from General Dynamics Bath Iron Works during a ceremony in Bath, Maine, on June 4. DDG 109 is the 59th guided missile destroyer of the Arleigh Burke class.
USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) and USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), the first guided-missile destroyers to undergo the first phase of the comprehensive mid-life modernization program planned for the ship class. John Paul Jones completed in mid March at BAE Ship Repair, San Diego, CA and Arleigh Burke completed in early April at the BAE Ship Repair, Norfolk, Va. These availabilities mark the first time that a U.S. warship program has begun a major total-ship upgrade while ships of the same class are still being constructed. Over the next several years, all remaining 28 Flight I and Flight II Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyers will undergo this structured modernization to ensure each ship reaches its projected 35-year service life.
Similar to the ongoing Ticonderoga-class Cruiser Modernization Program, the Destroyer Modernization Program is designed to reduce workload and total ship class ownership costs via technology insertions including a fully integrated bridge, improved machinery and damage control, wireless communications, quality of life improvements, an advanced galley, commercial-off-the-shelf computing equipment, and an improved combat system, including the insertion of ballistic missile defense capabilities.
Admiral James P. McManamon, Naval Sea Systems deputy commander for Surface Warfare (SEA 21) emphasized that the decision to bridge the gap to future surface combatants with Aegis warships was made with both cost and capability in mind.
“Years of experience have shown us that focusing on effective modernization improves operational availability, increases capacity, and maximizes the capability of the Navy’s in-service ships at a fraction of the cost of building new vessels,” said McManamon. “The Destroyer Modernization Program will keep these ships’ total ownership costs at a minimum while increasing service life.”
The modernization program for each ship will be broken into two separate six-month availabilities beginning with the Hull Mechanical and Electrical (HM&E) upgrades, followed later with significant combat systems enhancements, including substantial upgrades to the ship’s Aegis Weapon System to support the shift toward sea-based ballistic missile defense. DDG 53 is expected to begin combat system upgrades in 2012 with DDG 51 to follow.
USS Benfold (DDG 65) is currently undergoing the first phase of the DDG Modernization Program in San Diego with USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Stout (DDG 55) scheduled to start later this year in Norfolk.
SEA 21 manages the complete lifecycle support for all non-nuclear surface ships and is the principal interface with the Surface Warfare Enterprise. The directorate is responsible for the maintenance and modernization of non-nuclear surface ships currently operating in the fleet. Through planned modernization and upgrade programs, SEA 21 will equip today's surface ships with the latest technologies and systems to keep them in the fleet through their service lives. Additionally, SEA 21 oversees the ship inactivation process, including ship transfers or sales to friendly foreign navies, inactivation and/or disposal.