Why the Pentagon is no longer satisfied with the most massive missile destroyer of the US Navy


The US Navy is entering an era of dramatic transformation. The Pentagon is preparing for a radical reduction in the number of “workhorses” of its fleet: destroyers of the Arly Burke class URO and missile cruisers of the Ticonderoga class.


Experts explain this by the inappropriateness of the program for extending the terms of their operation. But then what will replace these ships?

The Arleigh Burke class destroyers are the largest batch type of destroyer since the end of World War II. Their development began in 1988, the first ship went into operation in 1991, receiving the DDG 51 number. These are, without exaggeration, real “workhorses”: destroyers are capable of providing anti-ballistic and anti-aircraft defense, fighting submarines and surface ships, and providing support landing and naval blockade, monitor enemy ships, carry out search and rescue operations.

The developers were able to fulfill the Pentagon's requirement: to create a destroyer at a price of 2/3 of the cost of the Ticonderoga class missile cruiser, having 3/4 of their combat capabilities. I don’t want to sing the praises of the Navy of the potential enemy, but the ship is really good in its multifunctionality. However, he also has a problem: Arly Burke is gradually starting to age.

Three series of this vessel are known: Flight I, Flight II and Flight III. In the first, three destroyers were built, after which the project was modernized. In the second - seven ships, and the Flight IIA version was created, which became the largest. Previously, it was planned at the Pentagon to build the DDG-113 to DDG-121 destroyers for the third series of Flight III, to bring the total number of U.S. Navy to 355 ships. However, now plans have begun to be substantially adjusted.

James Gerts, spokesman for the United States Navy, told the Senate committee that extending the life of a destroyer in service from 35 to 45 is not practical. Decisions must be made "pointwise", for each ship, taking into account its condition. The first Arly Burke went into operation in 1991, so they can drop out of the Navy since 2026. Things are a little better with the destroyers of the Flight II and Flight IIA series, since they were originally designed not for 35, but for 40 years of service.


The Ticonderoga class missile cruiser in the foreground and the Arly Burke class destroyer

If the Senate accepts the military’s arguments, then by 2034 32 URO destroyers will leave the US Navy, which will drastically reduce their missile defense capabilities. But that's not all: by the turn of 2026-2027, the Pentagon will write off 13 Ticonderoga class missile cruisers. A logical question arises, why does the “hegemon” disarm itself, and what will be replaced?

Probably, the answer should be sought in the field of modern developments. Navy Vice Admiral Rich Brown said the United States needs unmanned surface ships to confront China and Russia:

We also need medium and large crewed surface ships. We need a battle-worthy frigate and we need a large surface combat ship.


Two years ago, the Pentagon already announced the acceptance of proposals for the development of such a high-speed medium crewless vessel with an increased range and autonomy of up to 90 days. In fact, we are talking about a floating "clip" with missiles and other weapons. Nothing is known about the contracts concluded, but the course of American military thought is quite understandable.
Photos Used: US Navy
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  1. cmonman Offline
    cmonman (Garik Mokin) 10 March 2020 17: 01
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    Thank you, Sergey, for an interesting article.
    Rummaged on the Internet about the future Arleigh Burke class destroyer and would like to supplement it. The fleet planned to replace it with the Big Surface Ship (BNK) by 2022, but the finances for the fleet are not rubber and there are many priorities for the Navy, so the development of the BNK was postponed (for now) to 2026. And now they will continue to build about 14 Arleigh Burke Flight III class destroyers.

    https://news.usni.org/2019/08/08/navy-considering-more-advanced-burke-destroyers-as-large-surface-combatant-timeline-slips
  2. Dart2027 Offline
    Dart2027 10 March 2020 17: 27
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    Something I doubt that will turn out. A rank 1 ship is a healthy thing that requires ongoing maintenance.
  3. Sergey Latyshev Offline
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 10 March 2020 23: 34
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    And the title, the title!
    Of the 355 ships that will be written off in 16 years, either 10, or 32 destroyers + 13 cruisers of 40-year-olds, but 14 destroyers must be built + do not say how many cruisers ...

    Our 2 cruisers, their peers ...
    1. Kristallovich Offline
      Kristallovich (Ruslan) 11 March 2020 09: 23
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      Of the 355 ships written off ...

      There are no 355 destroyers and cruisers in the US Navy. And it is incorrect to consider support vessels or even UDC.

      + does not say how many cruisers ...

      Cruisers in the US do not build, and for a long time. Even there are no projects.
      1. Sergey Latyshev Offline
        Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 11 March 2020 22: 39
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        1) I agree. "355 ships" wrote therefore.
        2) Thank you. Not looking. I'll know.
  4. Sergey Latyshev Offline
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 11 March 2020 23: 29
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    By the way, just with VO (I can not vouch for the veracity):

    ... 27 obsolete destroyers of the first or second series will be withdrawn; instead of them, by the same time, it is planned to introduce 24 destroyers of the IIA and III series. Thus, the United States will not only not lose (as they say in the article), but, on the contrary, will strengthen its Navy.
    1. Observer2014 Offline
      Observer2014 15 March 2020 07: 47
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      By the way, just with VO (I can not vouch for the veracity):

      You are a VO site hi do not confuse with boobies-commentators, please. laughing
      1. Sergey Latyshev Offline
        Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 15 March 2020 13: 18
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        Therefore, I did not write, but it intersects with another info. But I didn’t specifically look for it.
        Old 40 years ago - will be written off after 10 years. New - will introduce.