Posted by John Keller
WASHINGTON, 5 June 2013. U.S. Navy leaders are ordering four Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided missile destroyers under terms of a $2.8 billion contract announced Monday to General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.
The contract includes options for Bath to build one additional Burke-class destroyer, as well as engineering change proposals, design budgeting requirements and post-delivery availabilities which, if exercised, would increase the value of this contract to $3.5 billion, Navy officials say.
Burke-class destroyer is built around the Aegis combat system and the SPY-1D multi-function phased array radar. The multi-role destroyers are for anti-aircraft warfare and anti-submarine warfare, and carry towed sonar array, anti-submarine rockets, and helicopters.
The first ship in the class launched in 1991, and the Burke class has been the Navy's only active destroyer since the last Spruance-class destroyer was decommissioned in 2005. The class has the longest production run for any postwar U.S. Navy surface combatant.
The ships are 505 feet to 509 feet long, displace 8,315 to 9,200 tons, and carry more than 90 missiles. The Burke-class ships are larger and more heavily armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers. These ships are among the largest destroyers built in the U.S.; only the Spruance and Kidd classes were longer.
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The Aegis radar of the Burke-class destroyer can track targets continually, and the system's computer control helps centralize tracking and targeting functions, and helps resist attempts to jam the radar. Aegis is not a military acronym, but refers to the shield of the Greek god Zeus.
The Burke-class destroyer also carries the Light Airborne Multipurpose System (LAMPS) helicopter for anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare. The ship itself has an active sonar, a towed sonar array, and Harpoon missile launchers.
The Nav operates 62 Burke-class destroyers, and six more were under construction or under contract until Monday's new order. For this contract Bath Iron Works will do the work in Bath and Brunswick, Maine; Cincinnati; Walpole, Mass.; South Portland, Maine; York, Pa.; Charlottesville, Va.; Coatesville, Pa.; Erie, Pa.; and other locations, and should be finished by July 2023.