The USS Arleigh Burke (DDG51) is the first in a class of guided missile destroyers. The Arleigh Burke was ordered in April of 1985, with the keel being laid down at the Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME. in December of 1988. Launched in September of 1989, the Arligh Burke was commissioned into active service in July of 1991 (while ship classes are not normally named after living persons, not only was Admiral Burke alive at the time his namesake ship was commissioned, he was present at the ceremony.)
Unlike the Ticonderoga cruisers, which were based off of the Spruance class destroyer hull and machinery, the Arleigh Burkes were designed, from the keel up, as a unique class of vessel. Drawing from "experience" by the Royal Navy during the Falklands war, the Burke is of all-steel construction (typically hulls were made of steel, while the superstructure was constructed of aluminum) thus improving its survivability. In addition, the Burke is the first class of ship to incorporate a collective protection system for NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) defense. The CPS features double air-locked hatches, limited weather deck access, positive pressurization of the interior spaces, and 100% filtration of intake air. The Arleigh Burke destroyers are also the first class of combatant to incorporate stealth technology into their construction. These stealth enhancements include rounded edges and angled surfaces to trap and re-direct radar signals IR exhaust gas suppression, and the Prairie Masker hull/ blade suppression system.
Construction of the Arleigh Burke vessels can be divided into three flights. Flight I destroyers (DDG51-71) represent the initial run, with Flight II destroyers (DDG72-78) representing a second production run. The Flight IIA destroyers incorporate a number of changes to the Flight I-II design. To improve IR suppression of the ship?s exhaust, as well as reduce the ship's radar signature, the stacks were buried in the ships superstructure. The ship's inherit AWS capabilities were increased significantly by embarking two SH-60 ASW helicopters (while Flight I and II ships were capable of landing a SH-60 class helicopter, they were not equipped with one.) To accommodate these helicopters, an enlarged hangar space was created forward of the helicopter landing pad, which necessitated lengthening the ship by 5 feet as well as raising the aft facing phased array panels of the ship's SPY-1D radar one deck (8 feet.) In addition, the ship's missile capability was increased by six missiles (from 90 to 96.) Finally, beginning with the USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG81) Arleigh Burke destroyers are be equipped with a new, extended range Mk45 mod 4 5"/62 caliber gun. (In an interesting side note, the USS Winston S. Churchill is not only the only active ship in the Navy to be named after a foreign national, but it is also the only Navy ship to have a Royal Navy officer permanently assigned to her crew.)
These modifications, however, were not without tradeoffs. The increased weight has reduced the top speed of the class from 32 to 31 knots, and necessitated the removal of the after mounted twin quad harpoon launchers as well as the SQR-19 TACTAS towed sonar array.
Construction of the Arleigh Burke destroyers has been divided between the Bath Iron Works in Maine and Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi. Current funding calls for a total of 59 DDG51 class destroyers to be built. The most recently commissioned, the USS Gridley (DDG 101), was commissioned into active service in February of 2007.
The Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers are either 504 feet long (Flight I, II) or 509 feet long (Flight IIA.) All flights have a beam of 66 feet, and draw 21 feet of water. The full load displacement for DDG51-71 is 8,422 tons, while the displacement for DDG72-78 is 9,033 tons. The displacement for all Flight IIA destroyers (DDG 79+) is 9,238 tons. The destroyer's compliment (all flights) is 22 officers and 324 enlisted (The Flight IIA destroyers have an additional 4 officers and 14 enlisted embarked as air crew and maintenance.) The Arleigh Burke destroyers have a top speed of 32 knots (Flight I, II) or 31 knots (Flight IIA), and a cruising speed of 20 knots. Their operational range (all flights) at 20 knots is 4,400 miles.
While flight I and II destroyers are equipped with an aircraft landing platform, are LAMPS III capable for ASW operations, and can accept an SH-60B helicopter these destroyers do not have embarked aircraft. All Flight IIA destroyers (DDG79+) however have two SH-60B LAMPS III helicopters embarked.
The Arleigh Burke destroyers are powered by the same drive train as the Ticonderoga cruisers, namely four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines (LM 2500-30 gas turbine engines in the case of the Flight IIA ships), producing 104,000 horsepower combined. Propulsion is provided by two shafts with variable pitch screws.
The Arleigh Burke class of destroyers are equipped with the SPY-1D three-dimensional phased array E/F band air search and fire control radar, the SPS-67(v)3 G band short range surface-search/navigation radar, and the SPS-64(v)9 I-band navigation radar.
All Arleigh Burke destroyers are sonar equipped. All are equipped with the SQS-53C bow mounted medium frequency active search and attack sonar the SQQ-28 LAMPS signal processing set and the SQR-19 TACTAS passive towed array (Flight I and II only; the SQR-19 has been removed from the Flight IIA ships because of weight issues.)
Fire control is provided by three SPG-62 I/J band continuous wave illuminating radar. Tomahawk fire control is provided by the SWG-3 weapon control system, while Harpoon launch management is provided by the SWG-1A system (in the Flight I and II destroyers only. The Harpoon launchers were removed in the Flight IIA destroyers for weight issues.) Underwater weapons direction is provided by the Mk 116 Mod 7 ASWCS.
Command and control systems include the Cooperative Engagement Capability sensor data integration system, the maritime Global Command and Control System (GCCS-M), and the SQQ-28 LAMPS sonobouy datalink.
Defensive and electronic warfare systems include six Mk 36 SRBOC chaff launchers, the SLQ-36 Nixie passive electro-acoustic torpedo decoy system, the Nulka active missile decoy system, and the SLQ-32A(v)3 electronic warfare system, SLQ-39 chaff buoy, SSQ-95 active electronic buoy, and the NATO Sea Gnat.
All of the Arleigh Burke destroyers are equipped with two Mk 41 VLS launchers (one launcher forward of the superstructure, and one launcher located aft) with a total of 90 missiles available. Missile loadout is variable, depending on mission requirements, but may include any number of the following: RIM-67 SM-2 standard missile, BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile, and RUM-139 ASROC anti submarine rocket. In the Flight IIA destroyers VLS missile capacity is increased to 96 missiles. The Flight I and II ships carry eight RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, mounted in twin quad launch canisters on the stern of the ship (these launchers were removed in the Flight IIA ships to accommodate the embarked helicopters. In addition, all Arleigh Burke destroyers are equipped with one Mk 45 5?/54 caliber lightweight gun system (beginning with the USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG81) the gun is upgraded to a Mk 45 mod 3 5?/62 caliber lightweight gun system) mounted forward of the bow VLS, as well as two Mk 15 mod 2 Phalanx CIWS anti-missile systems and two triple Mk 32 mod 14 324mm torpedo tubes capable of launching either the Mk 46 mod 5 or the Mk 50 ASW torpedoes. For ships defense, all Arleigh Burke destroyers are equipped with two Mk 38 25mm Bushmaster guns as well as four M2 .50 caliber machine guns.
|USS Cole, DDG-67, Arleigh Burke Class Model |
An explosion on the Arleigh Burke-class USS Cole (DDG 67) occurred at about 12:18 AM local time in Yemen. The terrorists' explosion caused a 20-foot by 40-foot gash in the port (left) side of the ship.