US Navy eyes new design for next-generation destroyer

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy is trying to construct a brand new era of destroyers from a clean-sheet design, following the mannequin of considered one of its most profitable ship lessons, the Arleigh Burke-class DDG, the service’s prime officer mentioned Tuesday.

The concept, colloquially referred to in-house as DDG Next, is to construct a brand new hull smaller than the practically 16,000-ton Zumwalt-class destroyer however nonetheless large enough to accommodate a bigger missile journal, Adm. Michael Gilday informed a digital viewers at Defense One’s State of the Navy occasion.

“I don’t want to build a monstrosity. But I need deeper magazines on ships than I have right now,” the chief of naval operations mentioned. “I’m limited with respect to DDG Flight IIIs in terms of what additional stuff we could put on those ships. … So the idea is to come up with the next destroyer, and that would be a new hull. The idea would be to put existing technologies on that hull and update and modernize those capabilities over time.”

The Navy is meant to start out shopping for the brand new ship in 2025, in keeping with the service’s 2020 30-year shipbuilding plan, although it’s unclear how its forthcoming pressure construction evaluation will have an effect on these plans. In his current speech on the Defense Department’s plan for a 500-plus ship Navy, Defense Secretary Mark Esper made no point out of the long run massive floor combatant.

To keep away from one other expensive failure, such because the canceled next-generation cruiser or severely truncated DDG-1000 program, the service is harkening again to its profitable Arleigh Burke program, the mainstay of the Navy’s floor combatant program for the previous 30 years, Gilday mentioned. Much like on the forthcoming Constellation-class frigates, the service plans to put in fielded methods on the brand new ship and improve them over time.

“So think DDG-51 (that’s exactly what we did): We had a new hull but we put Aegis on it,” Gilday mentioned. “We put known systems that were reliable and were already fielded out in the fleet. That’s kind of the idea. I call it DDG Next to kind of right-size it. Smaller than a Zumwalt but packing some heat nonetheless.”

The Navy estimates it might want $22 billion yearly in fixed yr 2019 {dollars} to execute its previous shipbuilding plan, although the Congressional Budget Office put the estimate greater than 30 p.c larger. A significant driver within the distinction between the CBO and Navy estimate was the price of a future massive floor combatant, in accordance the Congressional Research Service.

The emergence of hypersonic missiles has been a driving issue within the Navy’s need to area a brand new massive floor combatant since such weapons wont match within the present vertical launch system cells on Burke-class destroyers and present cruisers. They will, nonetheless, match within the Virginia Payload Module being constructed into the Block V Virginia submarines awarded final yr.

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