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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

As part of its action on the Navy’s FY2013 budget, Congress funded the procurement of three Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class destroyers, or one more than the two that the Navy had requested for FY2013. The Navy is examining whether, following the March 1, 2013, sequester on Department of Defense (DOD) funding, the third DDG-51 will be executable with current funding. If the Navy determines that it is executable without additional funding, it would be built on a schedule similar to what would be executed for a ship fully funded in FY2014. If the Navy determines that it is not executable with current funding, Congress would have the option of providing additional funding for the ship in FY2014 to make it executable.

The Navy’s FY2014 budget submission calls for procuring nine Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class destroyers in FY2014-FY2018, in annual quantities of 1-2-2-2-2. The three DDG-51s scheduled for procurement in FY2014-FY2015, and the first 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 four DDG-51s scheduled for procurement in FY2017-FY2018 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).

As part of its action on the Navy’s FY2013 budget, Congress granted the Navy authority to use a multiyear procurement (MYP) contract for DDG-51s to be procured FY2013-FY2017. The Navy awarded the contract on June 3, 2013. The Navy plans to use an engineering change proposal (ECP) to shift from the Flight IIA design to the Flight III design during this MYP contract. If the Flight III design is not ready to support the procurement of the first Flight III ship in FY2016, the Navy can delay issuing the ECP and shift the start of Flight III procurement to FY2017 or FY2018.

The Navy’s proposed FY2014 budget requests $1,615.6 million to complete the procurement funding for the one DDG-51 requested for procurement in FY2014. The Navy estimates the total procurement cost of this ship at $1,729.7 million, and the ship has received $114.1 million in prior-year advance procurement (AP) funding. The FY2014 budget also requests $388.6 million in AP funding for DDG-51s to be procured in future fiscal years. The Navy’s proposed FY2014 budget also requests $231.7 million in procurement funding to help complete procurement costs for three Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyers procured in FY2007-FY2009, and $240.1 million in research and development funding for the AMDR.

Potential FY2013 issues for Congress concerning destroyer procurement include the following:

  • the impact on the DDG-51 and DDG-100 programs of the March 1, 2013, sequester on FY2013 funding and unobligated prior-year funding for the programs, including in particular the impact on the executability of the third DDG-51 procured in FY2013; 
  • the potential impact on the DDG-51 and DDG-1000 programs of a possible sequester later this year or early next year on FY2014 funding and unobligated prior-year funding for the programs; 
  • a shortfall in cruisers-destroyers that is projected for certain future years; 
  • whether the Flight III DDG-51 would have sufficient air and missile capability to adequately perform future air and missile defense missions;
  • whether the Flight III DDG-51 design would have sufficient growth margin for a projected 35- or 40-year service life; 
  • cost, schedule, and technical risk in the Flight III DDG-51 program; and 
  • the lack of an announced Navy roadmap for introducing into the cruiser-destroyer force integrated electric drive technology (which could, among other things, provide ample electrical power for supporting high-power solid state lasers) as well as technologies (such as those for substantially reducing ship crew size) for substantially reducing ship operating and support (O&S) costs.

Date of Report: July 1, 2013
Number of Pages: 40
Order Number: RL32109
Price: $29.95

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