Report to Congress on U.S. Navy Destroyer Programs

April 4, 2024 8:15 AM

The following is the March 28, 2023, Congressional Research Service report, Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report

The Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class destroyer program is one of the longest-running shipbuilding programs in Navy history. The Navy began procuring DDG-51s, also known as Aegis destroyers, in FY1985, and a total of 94 have been procured through FY2024, including two in FY2024. 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. Instead, the Navy in FY2007-FY2009 procured three Zumwalt [DDG-1000] class destroyers. The Navy plans no further procurement of DDG-1000s.)

The Navy’s proposed FY2025 budget requests the procurement of two more DDG-51s in FY2025. The Navy’s FY2025 five-year (FY2025-FY2029) shipbuilding plan includes 10 DDG-51s, to be procured at a rate of two ships per year.

As part of its FY2023 budget submission, the Navy requested authority for using a multiyear procurement (MYP) contract for DDG-51s scheduled for procurement in FY2023-FY2027. Congress, as part of its action on the Navy’s proposed FY2023 budget, approved this request. Four previous MYP contracts for the DDG-51 program covered DDG-51s procured in FY1998-FY2001, FY2002-FY2005, FY2013-FY2017, and FY2018-FY2022.

The first DDG-51 entered service in 1991, and a total of 73 have been delivered as of March 2024. 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 currently cost about $2.5 billion each to procure. The Navy’s proposed FY2025 budget estimates the combined procurement cost of the two DDG-51s requested for procurement in FY2025 at $4,958.8 million (i.e., about $5.0 billion). The two ships have received $233.0 million in prior-year Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) funding, which is a kind of advance procurement (AP) funding that can occur under an MYP contract. The Navy’s proposed FY2025 budget requests the remaining $4,725.8 million needed to complete the two ships’ estimated combined procurement cost. The Navy’s proposed FY2025 budget also requests $41.7 million in EOQ funding, $1,683.4 million in procurement funding to cover cost growth on the five DDG-51s procured in FY2023 and FY2024, and $233.5 million in cost-to-complete (CTC) procurement funding to cover cost growth on five DDG-51s procured in FY2016-FY2018. Combining all these funding requests, the Navy’s proposed FY2025 budget requests a total of $6,684.4 million (i.e., about $6.7 billion) in procurement funding for the DDG-51 program.

Download the document here.

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