Demise of the DDG-1000?

Navy Turns on Its Super-Destroyer

USS O'Kane (DDG 77) heading out for RIMPAC 2008

Burke-class USS O’Kane (DDG 77) heading out for RIMPAC 2008

Noah Shachtman:

The outbreak of common sense in the Navy’s former fantasyland continues. For years, the admirals have been clinging for dear life to their giant DDG-1000 destroyer program — despite the bloated budgets, despite the shady building plan, despite the fact that no one can come up with a half-decent reason why America needs the 14,000-ton, stealth ships. What was once a proposed 32-ship fleet was reduced to a mere handful, seven.

“Now, in a dramatic, behind-the-scenes about-face, the Navy is rescinding support for its Zumwalt-class DDG-1000 destroyer program, seeking to persuade Pentagon leaders to limit the program to two ships,” Inside the Navy has learned.

It’s difficult to believe, but the Navy seems to be coming to grips with reality. I wrote recently

A big part of the problem is that the Navy seems to want to live in imaginary land when talking budgets.

and while the budget craziness seems to continue unabated, the decision-making about what to do with the unrealistic numbers appears to be making a bit more sense.

Rather than more Zumwalts, some are suggesting that additional DDG-51 Burkes may be in the future. Others have even claimed that nuclear-powered DDG-51s might be worth a look.

As I wrote in that post:

I’ve never been much of a fan of the Burkes at all. Not as our primary surface ship, anyway.

But given the choice between a next-gen Burke and the DDG-1000, I’ll take the next-gen Burke. Let’s tweak an existing system rather than break the bank on a concept that is troubled at best.


  1. Ok the DDX was supposed to take the place of the battleship. Well so much for that. So lets take the 4 billion and get the New Jersey up to speed.

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