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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The FY2010 budget that the Navy submitted to Congress last year proposed ending procurement of Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyers at three ships and resuming procurement of Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class Aegis destroyers. Congress, as part of its action on the FY2010 defense budget, supported this proposal: the FY2010 budget funded the procurement of one DDG-51 (the first to be procured since FY2005), provided advance procurement funding for two DDG-51s the Navy wants to procure in FY2011, completed the procurement funding for the third DDG-1000 (which was authorized but only partially funded in FY2009), and provided no funding for procuring additional DDG-1000s.

The Navy’s FY2011 budget submission calls for procuring two DDG-51s in FY2011 and six more in FY2012-FY2015. The two DDG-51s that the Navy wants to procure in FY2011 received $577.2 million in FY2010 advance procurement funding. The Navy’s proposed FY2011 budget requests another $2,922.2 million in procurement funding for the two ships, so as to complete their estimated combined procurement cost of $3,499.2 million. The Navy’s proposed FY2011 budget also requests $48.0 million in advance procurement funding for the one DDG-51 that the Navy wants to procure in FY2012, and $186.3 million in procurement funding for DDG-1000 program-completion costs.

The Navy’s FY2011 budget also proposes terminating the Navy’s planned CG(X) cruiser program as unaffordable. Rather than starting to procure CG(X)s around FY2017, as the Navy had previously envisaged, the Navy is proposing to build an improved version of the DDG-51, called the Flight III version, starting in FY2016. Navy plans thus call for procuring the current version of the DDG-51, called the Flight IIA version, in FY2010-FY2015, followed by procurement of Flight III DDG-51s starting in FY2016. Navy plans call for procuring 24 Flight III DDG-51s between FY2016 and FY2031. Flight III DDG-51s are to carry a smaller version of the new Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) that was to be carried by the CG(X). The Navy’s proposed FY2011 budget requests $228.4 million in research and development funding for the AMDR. Detailed design work on the Flight III DDG-51 reportedly is to begin in FY2012 or FY2013.

FY2011 issues for Congress include the following: 
  • whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy’s proposal to develop the Flight III DDG-51 design and start procuring it in FY2016; 
  • the potential impact on the DDG-1000 program of DOD’s determination in February 2010 that the program had experienced a critical cost breach under the Nunn-McCurdy provision;
  • whether to use multiyear procurement (MYP) for Flight IIA DDG-51s that the Navy wants to procure in FY2011-FY2015; and 
  • whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy’s FY2011 funding request for procurement of Flight IIA DDG-51s, for DDG-1000 program-completion costs, and for research and development on the AMDR.
Date of Report: December 23, 2010
Number of Pages: 37
Order Number: RL32109
Price: $29.95

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