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Report to Congress on U.S. Navy Destroyer Programs

The following is the Oct. 22, 2018 Congressional Research Service report, Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress.

This report presents background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Navy’s Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) and Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyer programs. The Navy procured DDG-51s from FY1985 through FY2005, and resumed procuring them in FY2010. The three DDG-51s requested for procurement in FY2019 are to be the 80th, 81st, and 82nd ships in the class. The Navy procured three DDG-1000s in FY2007-FY2009 and plans no further procurement of DDG-1000s.

The 13 DDG-51s planned for procurement in FY2018-FY2022 are to be procured under a multiyear procurement (MYP) contract that Congress approved as part of its action on the Navy’s FY2018 budget. DDG-51s procured in FY2017 and subsequent years are being built to a new design (the Flight III DDG-51 design), which incorporates a new and more capable radar called the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) or SPY-6 radar.

The Navy estimates the combined procurement cost of the three DDG-51s requested for procurement in FY2019 at $5,292.7 million, or an average of $1,764.2 million each. The ships are to receive $39.4 million in prior-year (FY2018) Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) advance procurement (AP) funding (i.e., funding for up-front batch orders of components of DDG-51s to be procured under the FY2018-FY2022 MYP contract). The Navy’s proposed FY2019 budget requests the following:

  • the remaining $5,253.3 million in procurement funding needed to complete the estimated procurement cost for the three DDG-51s requested for FY2019;
  • $391.9 million in additional EOQ AP funding for DDG-51s to be procured under the FY2018-FY2022 MYP contract;
  • $54.0 million in cost-to-complete procurement funding to cover cost increases on DDG-51s procured in prior fiscal years; and
  • $271.0 million in procurement funding to cover cost increases on Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyers.

Issues for Congress for FY2019 for the DDG-51 and DDG-1000 destroyer programs include the following:

  • whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy’s FY2019 funding requests for the DDG-51 and DDG-1000 programs;
  • whether to provide funding for the procurement of an additional DDG-51 (for a total procurement of four DDG-51s rather than three) in FY2019;
  • continued cost growth in the DDG-1000 program;
  • the Navy’s intended shift in mission orientation for the DDG-1000s;
  • cost, schedule, and technical risk in the Flight III DDG-51 effort; and
  • the lack of an announced Navy roadmap for accomplishing three things in the cruiser-destroyer force: restoring ship growth margins; introducing large numbers of ships with integrated electric drive systems or other technologies that could provide ample electrical power for supporting future electrically powered weapons; and introducing technologies for substantially reducing ship operating and support (O&S) costs.