Wednesday, June 5, 2013

US Navy Orders Up To 10 Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers

As had been expected, the United States Navy has awarded two contracts for DDG 51 Arleigh Burke class destroyers. A total of $6.1 billion was awarded in two contracts for nine destroyers with an option for a tenth.

Huntington Ingall received a ten year contract to build five destroyers in a contract worth $3.33 billion. One destroyer is to be build every year from FY 2013 through FY 2017.

General Dynamics received a $2.84 billion contract to build four destroyers with an option for one more, which the US Navy expects to exercise. In that case, the value of the contract is worth $3.53 billion. One destroyer will be build in FY 2013 and one each in FY 2015 through FY 2017.

First Commissioned in 1991, the Arleigh Burke class has gone through several versions, each resulting in increased capability and displacement. The first 28 ships were Flight I and Flight II ships (DDG 51 through DDG 78).

The current version of the Arleigh Burke is the Flight IIA starting with DDG 79, the USS Oscar Austin. Some specifications of the Flight IIA are:
  • Length: 509 ft (155.29 m)
  • Beam: 59 ft (18 m)
  • Displacement: 9496 long tons (9648.4 metric tons)
  • Speed: in excess of 30 knots
  • Crew: 276
Propulsion consists of four General Electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines with two shafts and 100000 total shaft horsepower.

The Flight IIA features several improvements over its predecessors, including:
  • The addition of the Kingfisher mine-avoidance capability
  • A pair of helicopter hangars with the ability to deploy two Lamps MK III MH-60 helicopters
  • Blast-hardened bulkheads.
The first Flight IIA ship was commissioned in August 2000.

The Arleigh Burke class is fitted with the MK 41 Vertical Launch System with up to 96 cells. Armament includes:
  • RIM-66 Surface-to-Air Standard Missiles (SM-2MR)
  • RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM)
  • RUM-139 Vertical Launch ASROC (VLA)
  • BGM-109 Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles
  • MK-46 torpedoes (from two triple tube mounts)
  • Phalanx Close In Weapon System (CIWS)
  • MK 45 5-inch Gun
The MH-60 helicopters can be armed with Penguin or Hellfire missiles and MK 46/MK 50 torpedoes.

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