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Navy to Extend Ship Lives of All DDGs to Forty Five Years

"... As discussed in the below-linked USNI article, the Navy will extend the ship lives of all its DDGs to forty five years, thus allowing it to reach it goal of a 355 ship Navy by 2036.

Here is the pertinent extract:
" CAPITOL HILL – The Navy will keep every one of its Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in service for 45 years, extending the life of the entire class. The move allows the Navy to reach a 355-ship fleet by 2036 or 2037, the deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems said on Thursday.

The Navy currently has DDGs in multiple configurations – Flight I, Flight II and Flight IIA. Keeping each hull in the fleet for a 45-year service life equates to an extension of five to 10 years each, depending on the flight design.

Vice Adm. Bill Merz told lawmakers today every destroyer was already included in an Aegis modernization plan that would upgrade them each to Aegis Baseline 9 or 10 or Aegis BMD 5.4. The class-wide service life extension, as currently planned, does not include any combat system upgrades beyond what is already planned – though Merz said the Navy will be monitoring the threat set closely and retains the option to upgrade the combat systems later on.

“All of [those software variants] provide a ballistic missile defense capability, which is fundamentally the requirement we have to have,” he said in a House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee hearing.
“So whether that carries these through the life of the ship with the extension, we have time to work through that on what it will take, and the threat will get a big vote in how we do that.”

Merz told USNI News after the hearing that “this is an HM&E (hull, mechanical and electrical) extension, but every destroyer is already in the modernization pipeline, so every destroyer will be modernized. … The modernization they receive that’s already programmed may carry them through. Obviously, the threat’s going to get a vote on that, but one of the beauties is, instead of doing an individual ship-by-ship extension and extending the entire class, now we have the visibility to actually plan for that. We can pace it, plan it, fund it efficiently instead of one-and-done, one-and-done, one-and-done. We can be a lot more deliberate about how we handle this class. We’re big fans of this class of ship.”

Merz made clear, though, that this life extension would not absolve the Navy, Congress and industry of their task of finding an affordable way to ramp up shipbuilding. He told USNI News that this life extension gets the Navy to 355 ships in 2036 or 2037, but it’s the wrong mix of ships – the 355-ship goal is based on a particular blend of destroyers, attack submarines, aircraft carriers, amphibious ships and more, and the attack submarine fleet, in particular, will be well below the requirement in the 2030s. He said the Navy is “very focused on getting the right mix of ships in the end.”

Navy to Extend Ship Lives of all DDGs to 45 Years

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