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Friday, May 20, 2011

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

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

Procurement of Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class Aegis destroyers resumed in FY2010 after a fouryear hiatus. Congress funded the procurement of one DDG-51 in FY2010, and two more in FY2011. The Navy’s FY2012 budget submission calls for procuring one DDG-51 in FY2012, and seven more in FY2013-FY2016.

DDG-51s to be procured through FY2015 are to be of the current Flight IIA design. The Navy wants to begin procuring a new version of the DDG-51 design, called the Flight III design, starting in FY2016. The Flight III design is to feature, among other design changes, a new and more capable radar called the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR). The Navy plans to begin preliminary design work on the Flight III DDG-51 in FY2012, and wants to use a multiyear procurement (MYP) contract for DDG-51s to be procured from FY2013 through FY2017.

The Navy’s proposed FY2012 budget requests $1,980.7 million in procurement funding for the DDG-51 planned for procurement in FY2012. This funding, together with $48.0 million in advance procurement funding provided in FY2011, would complete the ship’s total estimated procurement cost of $2,028.7 million. The Navy’s proposed FY2012 budget also requests $100.7 million in advance procurement funding for two DDG-51s planned for procurement in FY2013, $453.7 million in procurement funding to help complete procurement costs for the three Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyers that were procured in FY2007 and FY2009, and $166.6 million in research and development funding for the AMDR.

FY2012 issues for Congress include the following: 

  • whether actions—such as adding DDG-51s to the Navy’s shipbuilding plan and/or extending the lives of existing Flight I/II DDG-51s beyond current Navy plans—should be taken to mitigate a significant shortfall in cruisers and destroyers that is projected to begin in the 2020s; 
  • the contract status of the second and third ships in the DDG-1000 program; 
  • whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy’s proposal to develop the Flight III DDG-51 design and start procuring it in FY2016; 
  • whether it would be appropriate for the Navy to use a multiyear procurement (MYP) contract in FY2013-FY2017 to procure one or more Flight III DDG-51s; 
  • the development status of the AMDR; 
  • whether Flight III DDG-51s should be procured to a lengthened configuration that includes an additional 32 vertical launch system (VLS) missile cells in the forward part of the ship; and 
  • whether to procure, in addition to DDG-51s, one or more adjunct radar ships to further strengthen Navy air and missile defense capabilities.

Date of Report: May 12, 2011
Number of Pages: 42
Order Number: RL32109
Price: $29.95

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