GUIDED-MISSILE DESTROYERS (DDG)
BRIEFING: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers
employ an array of weapons and sensors integrated into a multimission warship, including the Aegis combat weapons system,
which integrates air, surface, anti-submarine warfare sensors
and engagement systems. The class is further enhanced with a
formidable land-attack capability. The MK 41 VLS is capable of
firing SM- 2 Block III/IV surface-to-air and Tomahawk land-attack missiles. Ballistic weapons include the Mk45 5-inch gun
and the MK 15 CIWS self-defense system.
A total of 62 Arleigh Burke destroyers (DDGs 51-112) constituted the initial planned buy for the class, but in mid-2008
the Navy decided to continue production of the ships; the final
total has yet to be determined. Future ships could feature significant, yet-to-be-determined design improvements, especially in
mission systems. Altogether, the ships represent the largest class
of surface combatant built for the U.S. Navy since World War II.
There are three “flights,” or variants, of the class: DDGs 51-
71 represent the original Flight I design, DDGs 72-78 are Flight
II, and DDG 79 and subsequent ships are built to the Flight IIA
design. There are no significant visual differences between the
Flight I and II ships, but Flight IIA introduced a pair of helicopter hangars, adding the ability to carry and support two H- 60
helicopters. The stern is extended 5 feet to accommodate aviation facilities, which include a Recover Assist Secure and
Traverse system. Other additions to the Flight IIA ships include
the Kingfisher mine-avoidance capability, blast-hardened bulkheads, distributed electrical system and advanced networked
systems. Six Flight IIA DDGs, 91-96, originally were intended
to carry the WLD- 1 Remote Minehunting System (RMS), but
the system was canceled and the RMS hangar closed in or converted for other uses.
Eighteen DDGs have been or will be modified with ballistic
missile defense SM-3s capable of intercepting and destroying
certain types of short- and mid-range ballistic missiles. More
ships are expected to be selected for the upgrade.
Beginning in 2014, the first of four East Coast DDGs were
forward deployed to Rota, Spain, to provide BMD of Europe.
Ross and Donald Cook arrived in 2014 and were followed by
Carney and Porter in 2015.
Preble and John Paul Jones transferred from San Diego to
Pearl Harbor in August 2014, the latter to replace the cruiser
Lake Erie as the dedicated test ship for BMD.
In October 2014, the Navy announced the forward deployment of an additional two DDGs to Yokosuka, Japan. Benfold
shifted homeport from San Diego to Japan in 2015 and will be
followed in 2017 by Milius. In 2016, Norfolk-based Barry will
swap homeports with Lassen in Yokosuka. These moves are
being made to stage additional BMD-capable DDGs in Japan.
Modernization: A DDG Modernization Plan has been developed
to backfit design and technology improvements into Flight I
and II DDGs to ensure a mission-relevant service life of 35-plus
years. The DDG modernization technologies were integrated
during construction of DDGs 111 and 112, then retrofitted into
Flight I and II ships during in-service overhaul periods.
DDG modernization reduces total ship class ownership costs
with HM&E technology upgrades that include a full integrated
bridge, improved machinery and damage control, wireless com-
munications, digital video surveillance, quality-of-life improve-
ments and an advanced galley. COTS computing equipment in
an open-architecture environment allows for more affordable
future combat system upgrades. Fielding the HM&E systems
began with two ships in fiscal 2010 and three ships in each suc-
cessive year. The combat system upgrades began in fiscal 2012,
with ships already installed with the HM&E systems using the
same fielding profile.
A future Flight III incorporating a new Air and Missile
Defense Radar is programmed to be ordered in fiscal 2019. The
AMDR will replace SPY-1D radars as the primary Aegis system
sensor in these ships. Flight III incorporates a number of
changes, including more powerful electric and air conditioning
plants, enhanced ACB, and a wider stern.
Zumwalt Class: The Zumwalt-class DDG 1000, formerly
DD(X), is a multimission destroyer built to an entirely new
design, tailored for sustained operations in littoral and land-attack missions. The ships will complement but not replace the
Arleigh Burke class. DDG 1000 will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces
and operate as an integral part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. The design of the ships integrates numerous
technologies, systems and principles that include multispectral
signature reduction, low operation and support costs, improved
human systems integration and quality of life in a balanced
The ship’s defensive systems will employ active and passive
sensors, as well as onboard weapon systems and unmanned
vehicles. DDG 1000 is designed to defeat anti-access systems
including advanced cruise missiles, sea mines and quiet submarines. The ships also have capabilities against hypersonic air-breathing and atmospheric missile threats.
The ship’s offensive weaponry includes two 155mm Advanced Gun Systems (AGSs) and Tomahawk land-attack missiles. The AGS battery is designed to satisfy Marine Corps naval
surface fires requirements by providing sustained precision and
volume fire support for forces on the ground. The guns fire
precision-guided Long-Range Land Attack Projectiles that reach
up to 76 nautical miles, tripling fire-support coverage compared
with the Mk45 5-inch gun. The ship’s payload of Tomahawk missiles is housed in the Peripheral VLS, a new damage-tolerant system that directs explosive damage outward, greatly reducing the
chance of a single-hit ship loss.
The Zumwalts feature a wave-piercing tumblehome hull
along with an integrated deckhouse and apertures designed to
minimize signatures. The ship’s open architecture Total Ship
Computing Environment will use plug-and-play systems to provide adaptability and scalability to cost-effectively upgrade and
modernize the class throughout its service life. Open architecture and spiral development will ensure compatibility with
future ships and simplify insertion of new technologies to
increase operational capabilities.
The ship’s sensors and combat system include the Integrated
Undersea Warfare System and the SPY- 3 X-band Multifunction
Radar. DDG 1000 will be capable of conducting area air surveillance, including over land, throughout the cluttered sea-land
interface. The SPY- 3 also will detect and support engagement of
the most advanced anti-ship cruise missile threats.
DDG 1000 is fitted with an Integrated Power System, consisting of two main and two auxiliary turbine generator sets to produce and distribute power for all of the ship’s electrical needs,
from the motors to its combat systems and “hotel” services.