THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Mar. 13, 2003) - The guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) steams through the Mediterranean Sea. Arleigh Burke is currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea conducting missions in support of Operation
Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Patrick Reilly.
The Arleigh Burke class (DDG 51) destroyers replaced the Charles F. Adams class (DDG 2). The Arleigh Burke class was designed with an all-new hull form, incorporating much of the Spruance class (DD 963) destroyer propulsion and machinery
plant, and the integrated Aegis Weapons System (AWS) proven on the Kidd class (DD 993) destroyers and installed on the larger Ticonderoga class cruisers. AWS is composed of the SPY-1 multi-function phased array radar, advanced AAW
and ASW systems, VLS, and the Tomahawk Weapon System. DDG 51 was commissioned on July 4, 1991, and the class is still in production. Over the decades the class has been continuously upgraded with advanced sensors and weapons and improved
The guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) prepares to perform a multi-ship maneuvering exercise with the Harry S. Truman Strike Group. The strike group is en route to the Central Command area of responsibility as part
of the ongoing rotation to support maritime security operations in the region.
The Arleigh Burke class employs all-steel construction and is comprised of four separate variants or "Flights". DDG 51-71 represent the original design and are designated as Flight I ships; DDG 72-78 are Flight II ships; The Flight IIA
design began with DDG 79 and will continue to be built until the Flight III baseline begins, planned for incorporation on an FY16 hull. Flight III will continue the evolution of the DDG 51 class with the addition of the Air and Missile
Defense Radar (SPY-6) providing improved sensitivity for long-range detection and engagement of advanced threats. The Flight III radar system requires upsized ship service generators and chiller plants.
Sixty two ships are currently operating in the fleet (DDG 51 - 112). An additional fourteen ships are in construction or under contract with shipbuilders Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) or General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (GD BIW).
The future USS JOHN FINN (DDG 113) and first "restart" ship, will be the first new-construction destroyer equipped with the Baseline 9 version of the Aegis Combat System.
Like most modern U.S. surface combatants, the DDG 51 class 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 over 30 knots in open seas.
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, zonal
electrical distributed system, and advanced networked systems. Additionally, DDGs 91-96 provide accommodations for the A/N WLD-1 Remote Mine-hunting System. The first Flight IIA, USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), was commissioned in August
A DDG modernization program is underway to provide a comprehensive mid-life upgrade that will ensure the DDG 51 class will maintain mission relevance and remain an integral part of the Navy's Sea Power 21 Plan. The modernization changes
are also being introduced to new construction ships to increase the baseline capabilities of the newest ships in the class, and to provide commonality between new construction ships and modernized in-service ships. The goal of the
DDG modernization effort is to reduce workload requirements and increase war fighting capabilities while reducing total ownership cost to the Navy. In-service ships can be modernized by two distinct packages Combat Systems (C/S) and
Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical (HM&E) upgrades. The HM&E package includes new Gigabit Ethernet connectivity in the engineering plant and a Digital Video Surveillance System (DVSS), along with the Integrated Bridge Navigation System
(IBNS), an Advanced Galley, and other habitability modifications. A complete Open Architecture computing environment is the foundation for ships receiving the C/S war fighting improvements. This upgrade plan consists of a new Multi-Mission
Signal Processor to accommodate additional Ballistic Missile Defense capability and an improvement to radar performance in the littoral regions. Additional upgrades include: Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), Evolved Sea Sparrow
Missile (ESSM), CIWS Blk 1B, SEWIP, and NULKA. The Arleigh Burke-class MK-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) will be upgraded to support SM-3 and newer variants of the SM missile family. Throughout their expected service life, DDG
51 destroyers will continue to provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities with the added benefit of sea-based protection from the ballistic missile threat.