Will the future US Navy DDG (x) destroyer be a "transitional" destroyer?

While Congress has approved the construction of an additional Arleigh Burke Flight III class destroyer for 2022, and the US Navy has announced a vast plan to modernize its Arleigh Burke Flight IIA destroyers to install the new SPY radar -6 with active electronic antenna as for the Flight III and the frigates of the Constellation class, the United States Navy is also advancing on the replacement for the destroyer Arleigh Burke but also cruisers of the Ticonderoga class, while 32 units of these two classes must be withdrawn from service in the years to come. Communication around the new ship, designated for the time being under the code DDG(x), for undesignated missile destroyer, has so far been more than limited. But during an official presentation dedicated to the future of the US Navy, more information was presented on the expected capabilities and performance of this new combat ship called upon to form the armed fist of the American combatant surface fleet over the next decade.

Obviously, the US Navy has (finally) learned from the failures of Zumwalt-class destroyers and LCS corvettes, ships that wanted to provide capabilities that broke completely with previous ships, and which were, one like the on the other, bitter technological failures and budgetary chasms. There is therefore no longer any question of wanting to create a revolutionary ship, the DDG(X) will take up, in its initial form, a large number of characteristics inherited from the DDG Arleigh Burke Flight III, such as the SPY-6 radar integrated into the AEGIS air and anti-missile defense system, or firepower based on 96 Mk41 vertical silos to accommodate SM-2 anti-aircraft missiles, SM-3 anti-ballistic missiles, ESSM medium-range anti-aircraft missiles, anti-aircraft missiles -ASROC submarines as well as Tomahawk cruise missiles. For its close defense, the ship will also implement two CIWS SeaRAm systems with 21 missiles each, and a 127 mm gun.

The VLS Mk41 system will remain at the heart of the armament of the future DDG(X) with 96 silos in the initial version, and reserved spaces to extend this firepower

These characteristics are almost identical to those of modern Arleigh Burkes, and the differences between the two ships are to be sought in a design that is 50% more stealth in electro-magnetic, infra-red and sonic terms, more extensive aviation hangars, survivability and increased endurance at sea, as well as a full sonar suite integrating hull sonar, towed sonar and variable depth. The ship's internal systems, and in particular its combat systems and its energy production, will be completely new, because at the heart of the main characteristic of the DDG(X), namely a great scalability to integrate new weapon systems and sensors when available.


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