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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Surface Navy Concerned Reduced Destroyer Modernizations Will Increase Risk in Future Fights

USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110)The Navy’s reduced combat system modernization schedule for its legacy Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers (DDG-51) puts the surface fleets ability to tackle ballistic missile defense (BMD) tasks — as well as protect high value ships like aircraft carriers — at risk, the service’s director of surface warfare told Congress.

What’s at issue is the balance between the global proliferation of cheaper and more effective guided weapons, U.S. military demand for ballistic missile defense ships, reduced modernizations to existing destroyers and the current two-a-year DDG build rate, Rear Adm. Peter Fanta testified before the House Armed Services subcommittee on sea power and projection forces last week.

At the moment, the current fleet of 88 large surface combatants — the Navy’s generic term for guided missile destroyers and cruisers — could handle a so-called near-peer adversary but is on a trajectory to fall behind in the next decades.

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