Report to Congress on U.S. Navy Destroyer Programs

May 3, 2022 1:01 PM

The following is the May 2, 2022 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 89 have been procured through FY2022, including two in FY2022. From FY1989 through FY2005, DDG-51s were procured in annual quantities of two to five ships per year. Since FY2010, they have been procured in annual quantities of one to three ships per year. (The Navy did not procure any DDG-51s in FY2006-FY2009.)

The first DDG-51 entered service in 1991, and a total of 70 have been delivered as of February 2022. The DDG-51 design has been updated multiple times over the years; the version currently being procured, called the Flight III DDG-51 design, incorporates a new and more capable radar called the SPY-6 radar.

DDG-51s were procured in FY2018-FY2022 under a multiyear procurement (MYP) contract that Congress approved as part of its action on the Navy’s FY2018 budget. Three previous MYP contracts for the DDG-51 program covered DDG-51s procured in FY1998-FY2001, FY2002-FY2005, and FY2013-FY2017. As part of its FY2023 budget submission, the Navy is requesting a new MYP contract for DDG-51s scheduled for procurement in FY2023-FY2027.

The Navy’s proposed FY2023 budget requests the procurement of two DDG-51s in FY2023. The budget estimates the combined procurement cost of the two ships at $4,417.5 million (i.e., about $4.4 billion). The two ships have received $41.0 million in prior-year Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) funding, which is a kind of advance procurement funding that can occur under an MYP contract. The Navy’s proposed FY2023 budget requests the remaining $4,376.5 million needed to complete the two ships’ estimated combined procurement cost. The Navy’s proposed FY2023 budget also requests $618.4 million in EOQ funding for DDG-51s to be procured under the proposed FY2023-FY2027 MYP contract, and $228.6 million in cost-to-complete funding to cover cost growth on DDG-51s procured in prior fiscal years.

The Navy’s FY2023 five-year (FY2023-FY2027) shipbuilding plan includes 10 DDG-51s, to be procured at a rate of two ships per year. Although the Navy’s FY2023-FY2027 shipbuilding plan includes 10 DDG-51s, the Navy’s proposed FY2023-FY2027 MYP contract for the DDG-51 program includes nine (rather than 10) firm ships, plus an option for a 10th ship, as well as additional annual options that could expand the contract to include more than 10 ships. The Navy’s proposal for the FY2023-FY2027 MYP contract to include nine rather than 10 firm ships is a potential oversight issue for Congress in its consideration of the Navy’s proposed FY2023 budget.

Download the document here.

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