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Thursday, January 17, 2013

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



Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The Navy’s FY2013 budget submission calls for procuring nine Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class destroyers in FY2013-FY2017, in annual quantities of 2-1-2-2-2. The five DDG-51s scheduled for procurement in FY2013-FY2015, and one of the two scheduled for procurement in FY2016, 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 with the second of the two ships scheduled for procurement in FY2016. The two DDG-51s scheduled for procurement in FY2017 are also to be of the Flight III design. The Flight III design is to feature a new and more capable radar called the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR). The Navy this year is requesting congressional approval to use a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement for the nine DDG-51s scheduled for procurement in FY2013-FY2017.

The Navy’s proposed FY2013 budget requests $3,048.6 million to complete the procurement funding for the two DDG-51s scheduled for procurement in FY2013. The Navy estimates the total procurement cost of these ships at $3,149.4 million, and the ships have received $100.7 million in prior-year advance procurement (AP) funding. The FY2013 budget also requests $466.3 million in AP funding for DDG-51s to be procured in future fiscal years. Much of this AP funding is for Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) procurement of selected components of the nine DDG-51s to be procured under the proposed FY2013-FY2017 MYP arrangement. The Navy’s proposed FY2013 budget also requests $669.2 million in procurement funding to help complete procurement costs for three Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyers procured in FY2007-FY2009, and $223.6 million in research and development funding for the AMDR.

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released on January 24, 2012, discusses several potential oversight issues for Congress regarding the Navy’s plans for procuring DDG- 51s, particularly the Flight III version. Some of these issues were first raised in this CRS report; the GAO report developed these issues at length and added some additional issues. Potential FY2013 issues for Congress concerning destroyer procurement include the following:

  • whether actions should be taken to mitigate the projected shortfall in cruisers and destroyers; 
  • whether to approve the Navy’s request for a DDG-51 MYP arrangement beginning in FY2013, and if so, whether it should include Flight III DDG-51s; 
  • the possibility of adding a 10th ship to the proposed DDG-51 MYP arrangement; 
  • whether there is an adequate analytical basis for procuring Flight III DDG-51s in lieu of the previously planned CG(X) cruiser; 
  • whether the Flight III DDG-51 would have sufficient air and missile capability to adequately perform future air and missile defense missions; 
  • cost, schedule, and technical risk in the Flight III DDG-51 program; 
  • whether the Flight III DDG-51 design would have sufficient growth margin for a projected 35- or 40-year service life; and 
  • schedule risk for recently procured Flight IIA DDG-51s.


Date of Report: December 21, 2012
Number of Pages: 62
Order Number: RL32109
Price: $29.95


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