The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (GD BIW), a subsidiary of General Dynamics, a contract to provide lead yard services for the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer program.
The contract is valued at $49.8 million for the first year with four option years, with a total contract value of $304.8 million.
Bath Iron Works is the lead shipyard and design agent for the class. Since 1987, Bath Iron Works has provided design and technical assistance for design upgrades and major changes to the two shipyards currently building DDG 51-class destroyers.
“This contract enables our efforts to complete a Flight III design upgrade in support of the U.S. Navy’s strategy for acquiring ships with additional capability in FY’18 and FY ’21,” said Dirk Lesko, president of Bath Iron Works.
Bath Iron Works currently has under construction Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), Carl M. Levin (DDG 120), John Basilone (DDG 122) and Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124) as well as Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), the third in the Zumwalt class of destroyers.
DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class Guided Missile Destroyers
Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers (DDGs) is the United States Navy’s first class of destroyer built around the Aegis Combat System and the SPY-1D multifunction passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar.
The class is named for Admiral Arleigh Burke, the most famous American destroyer officer of World War II, and later Chief of Naval Operations. The class leader, USS Arleigh Burke, was commissioned on 4 July 1991 during Admiral Burke’s lifetime.
With an overall length of 505 to 509 feet (154 to 155 m), displacement ranging from 8,315 to 9,200 tons, and weaponry including over 90 missiles, the Arleigh Burke class are larger and more heavily armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers. Their hull and superstructure were designed to have a reduced radar cross section.
These warships were designed as multimission destroyers to fit the anti-aircraft warfare (AAW) role with their powerful Aegis radar and surface-to-air missiles; antisubmarine warfare (ASW), with their towed sonar array, anti-submarine rockets, and ASW helicopter; antisurface warfare (ASuW) with their Harpoon missile launcher; and strategic land strike role with their Tomahawk missiles.
With upgrades to their AN/SPY-1 phased radar systems and their associated missile payloads as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the ships of this class have also begun to demonstrate some promise as mobile antiballistic missile and anti-satellite weaponry platforms.
Besides the 62 vessels of this class (comprising 21 of Flight I, 7 of Flight II and 34 of Flight IIA), up to a further 42 (of Flight III) have been envisioned.