Navy’s DDG 51 Manager Revels in Program Stability
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Senior Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The program manager for the Navy’s new-construction Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided-missile destroyers reveled in the stability of the program in wake of the passage of the 2019 defense budget and the approval of multiyear procurement of 10 destroyers.
The first passage of a defense budget in 10 years without a continuing resolution enabled the Navy to proceed early in the fiscal year with a multiyear procurement for fiscal 2018 through 2022 of six DDGs for Ingalls Shipbuilding and four for Bath Iron Works, with each contract offering an option for five more DDGs.
Each shipyard was awarded a DDG in the 2019 budget and Congress awarded a third DDG, with the Navy giving the ship award to Bath Iron Works.
“You know, here we are in January and all my ships are awarded,” Capt. Casey Moton, the DDG 51 program manager, said Jan. 16 at the Surface Navy Association symposium. “It’s a good deal. I like that.”
Moton said the multiyear procurement was “very important to us” and would bring cost savings in terms of economic quantity of order.
He said that the program has 22 ships under contract, 10 of them currently under construction. The first Flight III version, DDG 125, is one of the ships under construction at Ingalls. Its keel-laying is scheduled for June. The first Flight III ship to be built at Bath Iron Works is DDG 126, the construction of which will begin this year. A total of 13 Flight III ships are under contract.
The Flight III has capability enhancements including the Raytheon-built SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar and Aegis Baseline 10/Technical Insertion 16 software. The SPY-6 gives a 15-decibel increase in sensitivity over the SPY-1 radar on the earlier DDG flights. An air conditioning capacity of more than double the current capacity will give the increased cooling needed by the Flight III ships.
Moton said the testing of the SPY-6 “has gone very well” and has performed successfully in 14 ballistic-missile tracking events, with one more test to go.
He said that a SPY-6 radar will be installed at the Lockheed Martin facility in Moorestown, Pennsylvania, for “full array integration with the Aegis Baseline 10 Combat System.
Despite the favorable fiscal climate, Moton stressed that “shipbuilders need to continually work to get cost down.”