Do the future Italian DDX destroyers foreshadow an evolution of combat ships?

Barely less than a year ago, Rome presented a new program of heavy destroyers intended for replace the Durand de la Penne and Mimbelli anti-aircraft frigates from 2030, in an unprecedented effort to endow the Marina Militare with unparalleled naval power throughout the Mediterranean. But beyond this ambition, these new ships, by their architecture, their sensors and their armament, will also become among the most powerful combatant surface units in the entire Mediterranean basin, equaling and sometimes even surpassing the American and Russian heavy destroyers. or Chinese. It is therefore relevant to take an interest in the closest to this new class, which could well foreshadow a real evolution in the field of large naval combat units.

The largest destroyer in Europe

With a length of 175 meters, and a displacement of nearly 11.000 tons, the destroyers of the DDX program will be the largest surface combatants built in Europe from the 181 m and the 11.300 tons of the cruiser Colbert of the French Navy, launched in 1956 and decommissioned in 1991. It outclasses the Daring class destroyers of more than 22 meters and 2600 tons, and of 22 meters and 4000 tons the Franco-Italian destroyers of the Horizon class, and even the destroyers of the US Navy of the Arleigh Burke class, 155 meters long for a displacement of 9800 tonnes. In the European theater, only cruisers of the Slava class (186 m for 12.500 tonnes) and 2 nuclear cruisers of the Kirov class (252m for 28.000 tonnes) will surpass Italian ships. While Europeans have favored smaller and narrower hulls for many years, this is not the case with Asian navies, since both Japanese Maya class destroyers (170 m for 10.250 tonnes), the South Korean Seijong the Great class destroyers (166m for 11.000 tonnes) that Chinese Type 055 (180 m for 11 to 12.000 tons estimated) sail in the same proportions.

South Korean Sejong the Great class destroyers are today the most powerfully armed surface combatants with 128 vertical silos.

Like the FREMM frigates of the Bergamini class, the ship will also have an advanced propulsion system, this time based on the CODOGAL (COmbined Diesel Or Gas And eLectric) model combining integrated electric propulsion, a gas turbine and gas turbines. diesel engines offering significant displacement capacities in silent mode, while giving them a top speed of 30 knots. In addition, the ship will have a significant capacity of evolution thanks to a reserve of electrical power allowing it, in the future, to consider the integration of systems requiring a high electrical power, such as new sensors, capacities. computer processing, and of course, directed energy weapons.

A complete set of weapons and sensors


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