Arleigh Burke class AEGIS Destroyers

This class of ships is named for the US Navy’s most famous destroyer squadron combat commander – and three-time Chief of Naval Operations – ADM Arleigh Burke. He was present for the chistening in Bath and when the ship bearing his name, DDG 51, was commissioned on July 4, 1991. BIW is the lead yard for the program, widely recognized as the most successful surface shipbuilding program of post-WW2 years. The DDG 51 multi-mission guided missile destroyer operates in support of carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups, providing a complete array of anti-submarine (ASW), anti-air (AAW) and anti-surface (SuW) capabilities.

The ship’s combat capabilities center around the AEGIS combat system, the SPY-1D, multi-function, phased-array radar and the Mk-41 Vertical Launch System, which has expanded the role of the destroyer in strike warfare. Designed for survivability, the ship incorporates all-steel construction and, like most modern U.S. surface combatants has gas turbine propulsion. The combination of the AEGIS combat system, the Vertical Launching System, an advanced anti-submarine warfare system, two embarked SH-60 helicopters, advanced anti-aircraft missiles and Tomahawk ASM/LAM (anti-ship & land-attack missiles), the Arleigh Burke class is the most powerful surface combatant ever put to sea.

DDG 51 Class Flight I & II

DDG 51 Class Flight IIA


Ship Characteristics

Metric Details
Length Overall 510 feet (156 meters)
Beam – Waterline 59 feet (18 meters)
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons (9,363 metric tons)
Power Plant Four General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; two shafts; two CRP propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower
Speed in excess of 30 knots
Crew 380 total (32 Officers, 27 CPO, 321 OEM)
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin)
Aircraft Two embarked SH-60 helicopters (ASW operations); RAST
Armament Two Mk 41 Vertical Launchers (VLS) with Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC & Tomahawk ASM/LAM missiles; 5-in/54 Mk-45 gun; two CIWS; six Mk-46 torpedo tubes

Flight IIA ships started with USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79). US Navy requirements during this phase of the program have involved various modifications to secondary armaments – some ships have one or no CIWS – others have a storage/launch facility for a minehunting USV. After a brief interruption in the program, the Navy resumed buying DDG 51 destroyers because of their growing role in ballistic missile defense.

Zumwalt Class Destroyers

DDG 1000 is the first of a new class of warships in the US Navy’s revolutionary vision for 21st Century surface combatant designs. A changing global political landscape, coupled with budget and manpower realities, demands sweeping changes; DDG 1000 takes these concepts from vision to reality.

The ship is designed as a multi-mission destroyer able to provide independent forward presence and deterrence or operate as an integral part of a Joint or Multi-national naval task force. Primary mission emphasis on Land Attack, Maritime Dominance and Joint Interoperability will enable DDG 1000 to control the littoral battlespace and deliver more ordnance on target over a broader range of military objectives than any surface combatant ever put to sea.

The success of the DDG 1000 Program is vital to our Nation’s ability to deploy and sustain an effective, affordable worldwide naval surface force. Current Navy plans have limited the size of the acquisition program to three ships. Many of its cutting edge technical features will be adopted in the Arleigh Burke and other programs. Key program features include:

  • Extending DDG 1000 technology/systems developments to other ships of US Navy Fleet
  • Enabling capable and affordable future US Navy force levels
  • Driving fundamental US Navy cultural changes
  • Achieving maritime dominance goals with a renewed focus on littoral capability

DDG 1000 introduces a wide range of new technologies that generate tangible breakthroughs in performance and affordability. Advances such as Electric Drive/Integrated Power Systems, ship control and damage control automation, a totally integrated, ship-wide command & control system, and low-observable topside designs are potentially applicable to other shipbuilding programs, thereby offering the Navy exceptional return on investment.

DDG 1000 is a stealthy ship with a minimal radar signature and an intrinsically quiet tumblehome hull form and wave-piercing bow. An enhanced X/SPY X-band radar is part of the concept, giving the ship enhanced detection and interception abilities in the characteristic radar ‘ground clutter’ of littoral theaters. Generating far more power than the DDG 51 ships, DDG 1000 is suitable for future deployment of directed energy beam weapons and the electromagnetic railgun, both of which are under intensive development.

Working with engineers at other defense firms nationwide, the design of DDG 1000 is highly evolved. Interactive 3D design – a feature extending to the assembly floor – has reached an unprecedented level of detail. The first of the class, Zumwalt, was delivered to the Navy on May 20, 2016. The second ship of the class, Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), was delivered April 24, 2018, and the christening for the Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) was on April 27, 2019.

Ship Characteristics

Metric Details
Length 610 feet
Beam 80.7 feet
Draft 27.6 feet
Speed 30 knots
Displacement 15,761 long tons
Installed Power 78 megawatts
Crew Size 158 – Includes Aviation Detachment