Navy Makes $6 Billion Multi-Year Destroyer Buy

Navy Makes $6 Billion Multi-Year Destroyer Buy

The U.S. Navy has ordered up to 10 new DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers through a new $6.1 billion multi-year procurement deal, service officials said June 3.

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) was awarded a $2.8 billion contract for the design and construction of four DDG 51 class ships. One of the destroyers will be built in FY 2013 followed by one each for years FY 2015 through FY 2017, according to a press statement from Naval Sea Systems Command.  The award also includes a contract option for a fifth ship, the statement said.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) was also awarded a $3.3 billion contract for the design and construction of five DDG 51 class ships, one each from FY 2013 to 2017.


“By leveraging competition in the DDG 51 class shipbuilding program, these shipbuilders will continue their proud histories in delivering these highly capable ships to the fleet while meeting critical operational requirements for integrated air and missile defense capability,”  said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in a written statement provided by the Navy.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, first commissioned in 1991, are roughly 500-foot, high-tech warships equipped with a range of capabilities to include Tomahawk Missiles, vertical launch tubes, electronic warfare gear, torpedoes, sonar, 5-inch guns and Phalanx Close In Weapons Systems, among other technologies.

“The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission surface combatant ships designed for anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare and surface warfare. They provide defensive capability to carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups and also have the ability to conduct offensive operations when needed,” said Chris Johnson, NAVSEA spokesman.

These multiyear procurement awards are for a total of nine ships, with an option for a tenth ship, the NAVSEA statement said.  Overall, multi-year acquisition awards are designed to lower costs by planning large-scale procurements over a number of years. This creates stability for industry planning production and also lowers costs for the government by firming up large purchases in advance.

“The Navy will work with Congress to resolve funding shortfalls resulting from sequestration reductions before contracting for the tenth ship,” according to the Navy’s statement.

Beginning with the second ship in 2016, the Navy plans to implement a new Flight III design which will replace the Aegis AN/SPY-1D radar with a new radar called the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR), according to the Navy.
Also, the Flight III configuration will provide for more electrical power and cooling capacity, providing the next generation of integrated air and missile defense and joint battle space awareness, Navy officials indicated.

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So the first ship will be another Flight IIA?

“-the Flight III configuration will provide for more electrical power and cooling capacity-.”

Interesting. Possibly a nod to recent developments in directed energy weapons, and the railgun project.

DDG-113 through DDG-122 are all Flight IIA.

The final 3 (or 4 — if funded) will be Flight III.

Multi-year contract for a proven system, best way to go. It worked great for the Navy when they bought Super Hornets as well.

I live across the river from BIW, which is currently buildin all three Zumwalts and two other 51’s. These additional ships will make for an active waterfront.

Took them long enough. They first mentioned this idea a few years back when the Navy brass tried to bow out of the Zumwalt deal. I guess that’s Washington for you: the USN wants 10 DDG-51s instead of the 3 DDG-1000s, and so a few years later it gets both! :)

How can they do this when the nation is so poor?
This nation does need the DDG’s and millions of other weapons to counter the Chi-coms.

About time they funded a few more real ships that at least have some teeth. Unfortunately the article does not indicate how many ships are being decommissioned in the mean time. If I recall correctly to keep the level of defense we currently have, which isn’t enough for a two ocean front, the rate of procurement should be at least double.

spot on PCR:
1comes on station, 1.5 come off, I think thats about the right ratio. Good for the shipbuilders, but the Navy continues 2 shrink.

They don’t have as many teeth as the flight I’s did though. No ship-to-ship missiles…at all. Still, good to see these over more LCS.

Excellent news! These are bona fide warships, unlike the LCS.

Blame the Navy.

I suppose they’ll modify the Standard series to take on ship targets. They *were* used on an Iranian frigate during Praying Mantis, but I doubt it was intentional.

Bummer; was hoping for more Zumwalts. This is not good.

I was pleased to see that DDG-118 is to be named USS Daniel Inouye, the Medal of Honor recipient and United States Senator, from Hawaii. I wonder if the ship will use the 442nd’s motto “GO FOR BROKE” as the ship’s motto? That would be so right.

Also the newer more powerful radars are the big reason.

Yes lets go all out for another system which is completely untested and isn’t even meant for the environments we will use them in.

True, but the AMDR radar alone will require more power. Not sure, but they may try moving to electric drive for the propulsion system too.

You forget that DARPA is working on LRASM, which I believe just conducted a vertical launch so they will likely go with the VLS system to launch them. Should be much better than the Harpoon. It will also clean up the deck a little, lowering the RCS.

The Standard Missile is considered usable against surface vessels, but its warhead is less than optimal for a larger ship.

I hope that they put ASuW capability on the Flight III. That was a huge mistake with the Flight II’s

We can’t expect to survive in future wars by lobbing SM-2s at enemy ships-just not an effective anti-ship weapon.

I am not American, but I would have no hesitation in standing the moment a member of the 442nd entered the room.

I am really annoyed that Australia didn’t choose an Arleigh Burke hull for our new destroyers but it was probably on coast. I have always wondered why we never get cost breaks from the US, Israel does and has never fought on the side of the US and has sunk a US ship. We always come when call and the US has hit one of our ships with a missile, mistaking a 4,000 ton Charles S Adams class for a 250 ton North Vietnamese patrol boat. Given that any Australian ship would almost automatically fight with.under US command, it seems silly. We;d pay the bulk of the coast you’d give some sort of discount. Now we have 2 aircraft carriers being almost finished, again not made in the US and you’d think the US would be thinking, hmm, how can we get US Marine JSF-35s there as that would give us an extra couple of small carriers in effect in our Navy. Nope. Lets send gazillions to Israel. Well, at least our carriers have ski ramps, that will help Marine JSF-35s take off if they need to be deployed there.

Are you alluding to the Canberras? I think the Australians are wise to avoid sinking too much into JSF until export product is ready. On the other hand, the Canberras are coming from Europe…why not buy a European product? Or go to Japan or South Korea, both of which have capable surface combatants?

They are working on it, I will concede that. I will, however, wait until the missile has successfully passed her test phase before breathing a sigh of relief. The N-LOS missile program the Navy took over failed and now LCS has no (real) missiles. LRASM will be great, as long as the Navy keeps funding…and as long as L-Mart doesn’t screw it up. The LRASM is, in my opinion, the Navy’s single most important program at this point (in terms of still under-development.)

Hmm No new DDG-1000 just older DDG-51s, while wasting billions on useless blue water LCS???

51’s are a proven product. Zumwalt hasn’t even finished building yet. Its already got a lot of holes in its mythical super ship cloak.

what do you mean by “completely untested” every single system on that ship has been tested and found to work well, the construction of the ship is going well, so what’s not to like?

Jury out on the DDG-1000, they could turn into great design or they could be the white elephant many people have sited for while. The design kept changing over the years, too many to be flexible. Specially with current spot light on Anti-Ballistic Defense which the ships aren’t design to be. Their suppose to be Land-Attack ships.

Its too bad Navy doesn’t have enough time to make a new design. Re-designing the Burke sounds like a band aid. No matter what happens a new or old design going cost alot more money, because technology has marched on and demands of the Navy has shifted again. From WWII era vessels being retro-fitted with bulky radars and anti-aircraft missile launchers to Ticos being shift from Destroyers to Cruisers.

I still find it sad it costs so much to make a new general design is too much for industry or Congress to handle without it getting out of control. Stagnation going be a problem sooner or later.

I agree. It’s well tested as the movie “Battleship” well demonstrated.

It’s also a crock, the Flight III’s increase in power and cooling capacity compared to IIA is going to be paltry. They’ve already announced that the Air and Missile Defense Radar is being dramatically scaled back due to the Flight III shortcomings, I wouldn’t bet on these taking on a serious DEW/railgun armament without massive refits in the future, even with every cubic inch of free space stuffed with extra diesel generators.

Say it with me everyone, nuclear power. Unless efficiency of systems increases…

The Arleigh Burke Class Ships shoot Harpoon missiles at other ships, not SM2s which are surface to air and can shoot down incoming anti ships missiles. It’s a proven, upgradeable platform and cheaper than the Zumwalt. Like the F22, the Zumwalt is a generation ahead and would be the tip of the spear but few in number due to cost. Then the older planes and ships can come in and clean up.

The LCS seems like a target rather than a ship. It has limited defensive capabilities. Being that even the Iranians have anti-ship missiles for the past 30 yrs, I don’t get it. These LCS ships will be very limited as to where they can go.

The DDG 1000 is $3B USD for each sea-frame.

So expensive, that many feel the navy isn’t going to want to risk them in the littorals they were designed for.

Hence — the number of ships in the class has been stopped at 3.

It’s based on JASSM, so there isn’t a lot of risk associated.

To me it is good to take a good design and stick with it. The US in W2 did that with the Essex Class Carriers, the Fletcher, Sumner class destroyers and Gato Subs.
To me if they want a new missle sub to replace the Ohio Class then take a Virginia and add a Missle compartment. If they want a new cruiser to replace the Ticonderoga’s? Take a Burke and make it a little bigger.
As far as Australia and japan goes. It is to our best interest to help them all we can to beef up their military. If we do that then we can rotate less overseas and they can take up the slack.

If you define “sticking with” as being relying on mature designs at the time of December 7 1941, the war would be using different ships than what you think.

Sticking with it would’ve brought us to WW2 with a number of one-off designs (Langley, Lexington, Saratoga), plus pre-war carriers like the Ranger, Yorktown and Wasp. The Yorktown-class gained one more in the late ‘30s when it was clear war was coming and before the Essex design completed. Sticking with the Yorktowns instead of going ahead with freighter conversions (Sangamon et al) and cruiser conversions, plus the escort carriers would’ve made the North Atlantic very interesting. The first Essexes were indeed planned before 1940, but semantically, how can you stick with the Essex if the first Essex commissioned in ’42?

The Fletchers, Sumners and Gearings were actually built in ’41 and after, and “sticking with it” would’ve brought us the Gleaves, Benson and Sims class destroyers.

In submarine-land, one Gato was done by the time Pearl Harbor started; but “sticking with it” with Tambors would not have been so bad…

Many of WW2’s most memorable designs were generated in the late ‘30s when it was clear the USN might find itself in a war with less-than-ideal pre-war technology. Accordingly, many new designs were almost ready to hit the water around 42–43, but luckily the Navy could hold the seas until these new designs appeared in large numbers.

In submarineland, the new SSBN will likely share some electronics from the VA’s, but will be built to carry more missiles, anticipating a reduced program buy. They may try to spin them as “multi-mission” and carrying divers and the like…but why would you put a boomer that close to the shore? I suppose the interesting followup to the Ohios would be SSGN/SSBN and swapping modules to carry a nuclear or guided missile payload.

I suppose extending a Burke and adding another ~80 cells of VLS would make it a fearsome missile boat.

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