Report to Congress on U.S. Navy Destroyer Programs

March 24, 2020 7:39 AM

The following is the March 22, 2020 Congressional Research Service report, Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report

The Navy began procuring Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class destroyers, also known as Aegis destroyers, in FY1985, and a total of 85 have been procured through FY2020, including three in FY2020. The Navy’s proposed FY2021 budget requests funding for the procurement of two more DDG-51s, which would be the 86th and 87th ships in the class.

DDG-51s are being procured in FY2018-FY2022 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 revised design, called the Flight III design, that 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 two DDG-51s requested for procurement in FY2020 at $3,836.9 million, or an average of $1,918.5 million each. The ships have received $796.6 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 FY2021 budget requests the remaining $3,040.3 million in procurement funding needed to complete the estimated procurement cost of the two DDG-51s, as well as $29.3 million in EOQ funding for DDG-51s to be procured under the MYP contract, and $9.6 million in cost-to-complete procurement funding to cover cost growth on DDG-51s procured in prior fiscal years, bringing the total amount of procurement funding requested for the DDG-51 program for FY2021 to $3,079.2 million, excluding outfitting and post-delivery costs.

The Navy wants to procure the first ship of a new class of large surface combatants in FY2028. Under the Navy’s plan, FY2027 would be the final year of DDG-51 procurement.

Issues for Congress for FY2021 for the DDG-51 program include the following:

  • the potential impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation on the execution of U.S. military shipbuilding programs, including the DDG-51 and DDG-1000 programs;
  • whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy’s FY2021 funding request for the DDG-51 program;
  • a projected reduction under the Navy’s FY2021 budget submission in the number of DDG-51s to be procured in FY2023-FY2025, compared to previous Navy plans for DDG-51 procurement in those fiscal years, and how this relates, if at all, to a possible change in the surface force architecture that Navy leaders have been talking about since 2019; and
  • cost, schedule, and technical risk in the Flight III DDG-51 effort.

Download the document here.

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