Sunday, May 26, 2013

US Navy Releases Names Of Upcoming Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers

The United States Navy has announced that the next Arleigh Burke class destroyers are to be named the USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) and USS Daniel Inouye (DDg 118).

Paul Ignatius served as Secretary of The Navy and as Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Lyndon Johnson. Daniel Inouye was a US Senator and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War II.

The first Arleight Burke destroyer was commissioned in 1991 and there are a total of 62 ships in service (DDG 51 through DDG 112). Of these, 21 are Flight I and the remaining belonging to Flight II.

The Arleigh Burke class has been constantly upgraded and modernized, but also progressively grown larger in size with each flight. This has created some problems, including excessive levels of stress to the hull.

Construction was to have ended with 62 units, but has since been restarted due to issues with the successor, the Zumwalt class. A new Flight III will be constructed, which is now in the final design phase.

Only three Zumwalt class ships will be acquired and additional Flight II hulls will be build with elements of the Flight III gradually incorporated. The first Flight III may be commissioned in 2023.

Four Arleigh Burke Flight II hulls have now been contracted for and the US Navy may announce the addition of up to 10 hulls as early as next month in June 2013.

The Arleigh Burke class has never been exported, although Saudi Arabia has expressed interest. The four Kongo class and two improved Atago class destroyer in the Japanese Navy as based on the Arleigh Burke design.

The three KDX-III or Sejong The Great class destroyers in the South Korean Navy are also based on the Arleigh Burke design. The ships differ widely, including displacement, configuration and weapons fitted.

However, they all share the same Mk 41 Vertical Launch System, which uses the SM-2 as its main weapon for air defense. All also come with the Aegis System, including the phased array radars laid out in a similar manner.

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