The US Navy has decided on its vision for the next-generation DDG(X) squadron destroyer, which will become one of the main warships of the US Navy. The sailors want it to be armed with hypersonic missiles and combat lasers. Now a 60-kilowatt laser is being installed on the destroyer Preble, the Flight II generation. On the new destroyer, they apparently want to have 600 kilowatts already in order to cut targets on the fly, like in science fiction films.
The new destroyers are planned to start building in 2028, the US Maritime Institute website reported. “The capabilities that we will need in the 21st century are an increase in the number of different sensors, powerful directed energy weapons and increased ship survivability. Today we are talking about a large surface warship. On the current destroyers, we have used all the space, weight and power and cannot accommodate new combat capabilities that require more power and more space, ”Katherine Connelly, deputy program manager, quotes the publication as saying.
The dimensions of the new destroyer and the estimated costs have not yet been specified - the designers have not yet completed the approval process, which this time involved industrial companies. But, judging by the fact that the program manager constantly compared the new ship with the squadron destroyers of the Arleigh Burke project, the DDG (X) will turn out to be larger. The latest modifications of the destroyer have the following dimensions: length - up to 156 m, maximum width - 20.4 m, displacement - 9648 tons. Consequently, the cost of the new ship will not be less than one and a half billion dollars. The billion sounded in the words of the leader is rather an unreasonable wish than a statement. The Pentagon is counting on $1.3 billion.
It is known that the designers intend to use on the new destroyer instead of the traditional gas turbine power plant an integrated power system similar to that used on Zumwalt destroyers. On these ships, which exist in only two copies, all electricity is generated by gas turbines with a capacity of more than 75 megawatts. This energy may well be enough for everything, including a 600 kilowatt laser installation.
Initially, the ship is planned to be equipped with a 32-cell vertical launch system for Mk-41 missiles, which will be located in the bow of the superstructure. With the advent of hypersonic weapons in the United States, they will be replaced by 12 larger cells. Existing Arleigh Burke destroyers, by comparison, have 96-cell MK-41 VLS missile systems installed.
On the SPY-6 air search radar, it is planned to replace the approximately four-meter antenna with a five-meter one. This will increase the sensitivity of the system.
DDG (X), at the request of the Navy, should sail 50% further and work 120 times more time without entering the dock. At the same time, it should be 25% more economical than the destroyer Arleigh Burke. For comparison, the range of the latest modification of the current destroyer is more than 11 thousand km, and the maximum speed is 30 knots.
Unlike Arleigh Burke, the new destroyers should be suitable for operations not only in the tropics, but also in the Arctic. And this wish is very symptomatic. The plans of the US Navy clearly indicate Washington's intention to back up its claims to the Arctic shelf, which is rich in natural resources and, above all, in oil and gas, by force. That is why the US also launched the construction of an icebreaker fleet.