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Navy Releases More DDG(X) Destroyer Requirements

Updated: Jan 13, 2023


DDG(X) Program Presentation, 12 Jan 2022, Captain David Hart DDG(X) Program Manager



A BIGGER SHIP WITH MORE RANGE, BIGGER MISSILES, MORE ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION CAPACITY AND SOME HIGH TECH CHIC ADVANCED WEAPONS


The Navy has just released some of its new requirements for the guided missile destroyer slated to eventually replace the Arleigh Burke destroyers. At the top of the Navy's list is more electricity generation for power hungry beam weapons and sensors, and of course support for hypersonic missiles.

THE 30,000 FOOT VIEW

At the 30,000 foot view, the Navy envisages the DDG(X) as incorporating:

(1) Flight III DDG-51 Aegis combat system elements

(2) Greater margin for growth than the Flight III DDG-51 design, including more space, more displacement, increased electrical power generation and cooling capacity

(3) AN integrated power system (IPS) such as that found the DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class Destroyers

4) Reduced vulnerability due to reduced infrared, acoustic, and underwater electromagnetic signatures, i.e. be overall more stealthy in terms of going up against submarines and other threats. Navy is promising a better than 50 percent improvement over the Flight III Burkes.

(5) increased cruising range and time on station. (Due to relatively fuel inefficient hulls, Arleigh Burkes have short legs for ships their size)

(6) increased weapon capacity


The Navy expects to start building the new destroyers sometime the 2030s.


Some of the classes of weapons the Navy is hoping will be ready by the time the new destroyers are ready to have weapons integrated into them include:


  • Lasers such as the HELIOS, (high energy laser with integrated optical dazzler and surveillance) . The HELIOS effort is focused on initially fielding of a 60 kW-class high-energy laser (with growth potential to 150 kW) and dazzler in an integrated weapon system, HELIOS will be used to counter UAVs, small boats, and ISR sensors, and for combat identification and battle damage assessment.


  • 96 Standard Vertical Launch Cells


  • Potentially replace 32 of the 96 VLS cells (Mk-41's?) with 12 larger VLS cells such as the MK 57's found on Zumwalts (DDG-1000) capable of launching larger, more powerful missiles


  • Two 21-Cell Rolling Airframe (RAM) launcher for missile and air defense.


  • The Navy's hypersonic Conventional Prompt Strike missile (Mach 5)



The DDG(X) certainly sound great, but......

THE NAVY CONTINUES TO IGNORE THE SUPERIOR CAPABILITIES ADVANCED PROPELLANT POWERED GUNS CAN BRING TO A SHIP FOR BOTH OFFENSE AND DEFENSE


Lasers and other beam weapons have their purpose, but their many weaknesses and limitations mean that when it come to firepower per ton of installed weight they cannot match what modern propellant-powered guns can bring to the table.


Of course missiles need to continue to be a central design element of large surface combatants, but advances in gun and projectile technology have led to huge advances in range and range independent accuracy to the point gun-launched precision guided rounds are every bit as accurate as missiles. Modern guns have the potential to vastly improve ship defense against incoming missiles by destroying missiles with gun launched maneuvering projectiles. And advanced guns that can built with the technology we have today can provide unmatched naval surface fire support (NSFS) out to 100 miles and beyond, all at a cost that is a fraction of that of missiles. additionally, gun fires offer more granularity in terms of damage delivered. Missiles will still be needed for many missions, but some missions can be carried out far more cost effectively by naval guns than missiles.


For additional info on DDG(X) see this excellent War Zone article:






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