The US Navy is taking an interesting kind of dual pronged path to its future of maritime warfare in terms of its next generation of warships, destroyers, there's a new program called DDG(X), which envisions a follow on to the existing DDG 51 Arleigh Burke class destroyers.
And the two fold aspects of the concept are this one of them is design rendering or hull. Its conceptual at the moment, but there's an idea that perhaps it might look like a DDG 51 with a flared hull for equal displacement and stability.
DDG(X), USS Zumwalt & DDG 51 Arleigh Burke
Or perhaps it could be more like a USS Zumwalt, a stealthy hull, which gets smaller above the waterline that's designed to be wave piercing and less detectable to enemy radar.
The other element of the ships development is to have it mirror or take the exact combat system from the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke class destroyers. Flight III's in particular have an entire new paradigm changing series of technologies.
And it's not just to take them as they are, but to build them with open architecture and a modular capacity so that they can continuously be upgraded with new software updates, weapons precision fire control, even weapons configurations themselves.
Well the DDG 51 Flight III's now under construction, the intent is for them to sail alongside this new DDG(X) has a host of technology suite which is something called Baseline 10 Aegis Radar System, which is a ballistic and cruise missile detecting radar system linked to a fire control and an onboard system of software and communications command and control that has a radar called the Spy One which is purported to be 35 times more sensitive than previous radars.
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So not only can see objects twice as far away but half the size and get an electromagnetic rendering from great distances so commanders have an ability to discern threats and decide which countermeasure might be best suited for that particular threat.
Video Above: A next generation destroyer called DDG(X) is designed to sail alongside existing DDG 51 destroyers
It also has advanced ew vertical launch systems and onboard electrical power. This is extremely significant for the future of maritime warfare, not just for something like integrated propulsion system but also for onboard power systems and distribution of power to enable a new generation of weapons things like lasers, there could be all kinds of microwave weapons or electronic warfare, not just for offensive but defensive operations to potentially jam an incoming anti ship cruise missile.
So the idea is to engineer a new destroyer that would go alongside the existing upgraded destroyers, but bring it into new directions. So as a new generation of technology.
Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven, Center for Military Modernization
Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest and President of Warrior Maven - the Center for Military Modernization. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.