Report to Congress on U.S. Navy Destroyer Programs

September 18, 2019 10:27 AM

The following is the Sept. 17, 2019 Congressional Research Service report, Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress.

The Navy began procuring Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class destroyers, also known as Aegis destroyers, in FY1985, and a total of 82 have been procured through FY2019. The Navy’s proposed FY2020 budget requests funding for the procurement of three more DDG-51s, which would be the 83rd, 84th, and 85th ships in the class.

DDG-51s planned for procurement in FY2018-FY2022 are being 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 procured DDG-51s from FY1985 through FY2005, and resumed procuring them in FY2010. In FY2007-FY2009, during the time when the Navy was not procuring DDG-51s, the Navy procured three Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyers. The Navy plans no further procurement of DDG-1000s. The Navy’s proposed FY2020 budget requests $155.9 million in procurement funding to help complete the total procurement cost of the three DDG-1000 class ships.

The Navy estimates the combined procurement cost of the three DDG-51s requested for procurement in FY2020 at $5,463.0 million, or an average of $1,821.0 million each. The ships have received $363.7 million in prior-year 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 FY2020 budget requests the remaining $5,099.3 million in procurement funding needed to complete the estimated procurement cost of the three DDG-51s, as well as $224.0 million in EOQ funding for DDG-51s to be procured in FY2021 and FY2022, bringing the total amount requested for the DDG-51 program for FY2020 to $5,323.3 million, excluding outfitting and post-delivery costs.

The Navy wants to procure the first ship of a new class of large surface combatants in FY2025. Under the Navy’s plan, FY2025 would be the final year of DDG-51 procurement.

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 FY2020 funding requests for the DDG-51 and DDG-1000 programs;
  • cost, schedule, and technical risk in the Flight III DDG-51 effort;
  • the potential impact on the DDG-51 program of a possible change in the surface force architecture; and
  • the Navy’s plan to shift the mission orientation of the DDG-1000s from an emphasis on naval surface fire support (NSFS) to an emphasis on surface strike.

Download the document here.

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