The US Navy Destroyer

The US Navy Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer

"The Greyhounds of the Sea"

DDG51 Flight I / II

Arleigh Burke Class

Flight I and Flight II

DDG79 Flight IIA

Arleigh Burke Class

Flight IIA


Arleigh Burke Class (DDG 51) Destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups.


Guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW). The destroyer's armament has greatly expanded the role of the ship in strike warfare utilizing the MK-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS).

  • AEGIS Weapons System (AWS) including SPY-1 Radar, 96 cell MK 41 VLS, MK 99 Fire Control System
  • AN/SQQ-89 Sonar
  • MK 45 5-inch Gun for Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW), Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), and Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) targets
  • 25mm CIWS and MK 38 self-defense guns
  • SLQ-32 or SEWIP Electronics warfare system
  • Helo landing capability (DDG 51-78); Dual Hangars for organic Helo support (DDG 79 and follow)
  • Four Gas Turbine Engines driving twin controllable propellers
  • Three SSGTG (Ship Service Gas Turbine Generators)
  • Robust, redundant, and survivable design with low signature requirements

Photos & Videos

Evolution of the Destroyer


USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51)

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 support systems.

USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79)

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 2000.

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.

General Characteristics

Characteristic Flight I / II (DDG 51-78) Flight IIA (DDG 79 AF)
Builder Bath Iron Works, Huntington Ingalls Industries; SPY-1 Radar and Combat System Integrator: Lockheed-Martin
Date Deployed July 4, 1991
(USS Arleigh Burke [DDG 51])
August 19, 2000
(USS Oscar Austin [DDG 79])
Propulsion Four General Electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower
Length 505 feet (153.92 meters) 509 1/2 feet (155.29 meters)
Beam 59 feet (18 meters)
Displacement 8,230 - 9,700 Ltons
Speed In excess of 30 knots
Crew 329 Total (32 Officer, 27 CPO, 270 Enlisted)
Armament Standard Missile (SM-2MR); Vertical Launch ASROC (VLA) missiles; Tomahawk; six MK-46 torpedoes (from two triple tube mounts); Close In Weapon System (CIWS), 5-in. MK 45 Gun, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM)
Aircraft Two LAMPS MK III MH-60 B/R helicopters with Penguin/Hellfire missiles and MK 46/MK 50 torpedoes

Destroyer Commissionings

DDG51 Commissioning

1991 July 4

USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) is commissioned at the waterfront of downtown Norfolk, Va. The guided-missile destroyer is the lead ship of her class and named for the former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Arleigh Burke, who attends the ships commissioning ceremony.

DDG89 Commissioning

2003 July 26

USS Mustin (DDG 89) is commissioned at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is the second to be named Mustin, but the first to be named for the distinguished family of that name: Capt. Henry D. Mustin (1874-1923; Vice Adm. Lloyd M. Mustin (1911-1999), Vietnam War veteran Vice Adm. Henry C. Mustin II and Lt. Cmdr. Thomas M. Mustin.

DDG97 Commissioning

2005 July 30

USS Halsey (DDG 97) is commissioned at Naval Station North Island in San Diego, Calif. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is named after U.S. Naval Academy graduate Fleet Adm. William Bull Halsey Jr., who commanded the U. S. 3rd Fleet during much of the Pacific War against Japan.

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