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NEWS | Dec. 22, 2014

DDG 51 Modernization Program Meets Key Milestones

By Team Ships Public Affairs

WASHINGTON - The Navy's DDG 51 modernization program has met two key milestones Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) announced Dec. 22.


The milestones involve the successful installation and testing of the new Aegis baseline 9 combat system on two DDG 51 destroyers, and a hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) modernization to a third. The modernization program ensures Arleigh Burke-class ships keep pace with evolving threats while meeting service life requirements and future operational commitments.


USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Benfold (DDG 65) successfully executed sea trials following extensive, Extended Selected Restricted Availabilities for combat systems modernizations. Barry completed her availability at Naval Station Norfolk and was the first ship to receive the Aegis baseline 9 installation on the East Coast. Benfold completed the baseline 9 modernization at Naval Station San Diego. The modernizations upgraded all major elements of the ships' combat systems including radars, weapons, communications suite, sonar, electronic warfare, navigation, and computer capability. 


"These upgrades to major shipboard systems on DDG 51 class ships strengthen the Surface Fleet by improving the ships' capability to tackle missions and engage evolving threats," said Surface Combatant Modernization Program Manager Capt. Ted Zobel. "By incorporating smarter technologies, we ensure ships are more efficient and able to meet their tasking for years to come."


During sea trials, the ships demonstrated improved warfighting capability that included the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) embedded in the combat systems upgrade. The new software package, baseline 9C, includes an Aegis Weapon System (AWS) upgrade which introduces an enhanced SPY-1D radar with a multi-mission signal processor for anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense in support of IAMD. 


The AWS is complemented with the addition of cooperative engagement capability (CEC), anti-submarine warfare upgrades and improvements to the MK 45 five-inch gun. Ballistic Missile Defense version 5.0 was also included as a major addition to the combat systems upgrade. 


The third ship, USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), conducted an availability to overhaul and modernize its HM&E systems. The ship received upgrades to enhance its structural integrity while replacing existing propulsion plant control systems with new machinery and damage control systems. This modernization improves the probability that this 17 year-old ship will meet its expected 35 year service life.


USS The Sullivans is the eleventh Arleigh Burke class destroyer to receive HM&E upgrades. The modernization was performed at the BAE Systems Ship Repair shipyard in Mayport, Florida.


All three ships are expected to return to the fleet by early 2015.


The Naval Sea Systems Command directorate for Surface Warfare (NAVSEA 21) oversees comprehensive lifecycle modernization programs to ensure ships are primed and ready for tasking in the most sustainable, cost efficient manner. Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) is responsible for developing, delivering and sustaining surface ship and submarine combat systems, and for implementing Navy enterprise solutions across numerous ship types.