Home » Aviation » FY 2017 Navy Budget Adds 3 More Aegis Combat System Modernizations Over Next 5 Years

FY 2017 Navy Budget Adds 3 More Aegis Combat System Modernizations Over Next 5 Years

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) transits waters near Guam on Jan. 21, 2016. US Navy Photo

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) transits waters near Guam on Jan. 21, 2016. US Navy Photo

Ten guided missile destroyers will be fully upgraded to Navy’s top-of-the-line Aegis combat system over the next five years — three more than last year’s plan, according to an unclassified fielding profile seen by USNI News this week.

Over the five-year future years defense plan (FYDP), the Navy is set to upgrade the Arleigh Burkes guided missile destroyers (DDG-51) to the Baseline 9 standard during the ships’ mid-life maintenance period at an accelerated rate.

The full Baseline 9 Aegis upgrade replaces the destroyers’ 1980s era computer systems with modern servers and adds a new signals processor that allows the upgraded ships to not only simultaneously track, target and fire on fighter and cruise missile threats but also interdict ballistic missile threats in an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) scheme.

The FY 2017 budget funds one full modernization for USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) and two shorter and less expensive for hull, mechanical and electric systems for other ships.

In the FY 2016 budget plans, the Navy only planned on conducting one of each availability in FY 2017. The budget request also buys material for five HM&E availabilities and one combat system upgrade in FY 2019, one more HM&E modernization than had been planned.

The addition of the HM&E availability in 17 and the three full Baseline 9 modernizations falls in line with the Navy’s larger plan to upgrade the capabilities of its surface ships. The procurement budget supports keeping pace with emerging threats, provides capability to maneuver in the electromagnetic spectrum and maximizes ship service life, according to the budget documents.

The Navy will also invest in information warfare enhancements through six Ship’s Signal Exploitation Equipment installations, 16 Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) installations and 13 Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) block upgrades.

These upgrades are among several efforts to prepare the Navy fleet for battle against a near-peer competitor, which service officials said the ships could do today but are on a bad trajectory for staying relevant in the future.

“If you ask me about the fight today and can we win against the near-peer adversary? The answer is, absolutely,” Director of Surface Warfare (OPNAV N96) Rear Adm. Peter Fanta said in June to the House Armed Services sea power and projection forces subcommittee.
“But that is today. … We see risk in tomorrow’s fight. If we do not modernize fast enough, if we do not build fast enough, if we slow down our build rate of large surface combatants, if we slow down our modernization rate of large surface combatants, there will be a risk when the advanced threats arrive in numbers from the development stages they are in now to a production stage from a potential adversary sometime in the next decade-plus.”

The addition of the ships into a full combat system upgrade is a spot of good news for the surface forces that saw modernizations for DDGs cut over the last two years as bill payers for other programs.

The three Flight IIA Arleigh Burkes (DDG-51) added to the updated profile – USS Howard (DDG-83); USS McCampbell (DDG-85); USS Mustin (DDG-89) – were pulled from last year’s budget submission in an effort to save about $500 million over the FY 2016 FYDP.

  • Curtis Conway

    Bravo. Good moves. Now if we could just get some reprogramming of some Flt III Destroyers into two frigates (Short Burke FFGs) alternating between the yards every other year, for about a decade, then we could actually grow the fleet on the low end adding Aegis BL9 BMD capability to boot. It will take just a few more dollars for development of the propulsion system. Savings in the MYPs will pay for the rest.

    • disqus_zommBwspv9

      I will be praying hard the someone makes that decision. It would be a win win for the Navy

      • Curtis Conway

        THAT requires real Leadership, and we have seen what that looks like over the last seven years, except for DoD recently. It really makes one wonder if these guys understand the Free Enterprise System, Capitalism, Logistics (maintenance & training) Support, and the HiStorical context.

    • @USS_Fallujah

      I’d love to get a look at the AoA analysis for what a FFG version of the DDG-51 would cost. If you could get it to sea at 1/3 or even 1/2 the cost of a Flight III and reprogram the LCS/FFE & modules dollars into funding it….

    • Secundius

      @ Curtis Conway.

      NOT HAPPENING! Have to wait until AFTER 2019 Frigate Design Competition…

      • Curtis Conway

        That’s fine with me. It will take that long for the propulsion system to work itself out, re-plumbing the focsle for the gun and VLS, and shaking out the rest of the DDG-51 parts that will be common yet still fit. The gun really bugs me. It had better be a 76 mm minimum, using guided projectiles, if in fact it is not 5″. Need to get the development money in the budget NOW!

  • madskills

    The Burke upgrades seem to be a real cost effective way to strengthen the Navy… Hard to believe they did it rather then wanting new ships…

  • Marjus

    Modernizing the DDGs, building the Burke 3, getting 2 Virginia’s a year and the new Carriers really is a bright spot. I’m one of those people that does not care for money, because you can’t put a high enough price on security and freedom. Also I know the US government has enough money to properly fund the Armed Forces, it’s just they spend it all over the world for one as the global Santa Clause and then say there is not enough to go around.