The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are a class of U.S. Navy guided missile destroyers built around the Aegis combat system and the SPY-1D multifunction passive electronically scanned array radar. These destroyers are designed to provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities in support of naval and joint operations around the world.
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are named after Admiral Arleigh Burke, who served as the Chief of Naval Operations from 1955 to 1961. They are built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, and Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The first Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), was commissioned in 1991, and as of 2021, a total of 85 destroyers have been commissioned, with five more currently under construction.
Some of the key features of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers include their ability to operate in multiple theaters of operation, their advanced air and missile defense capabilities, their anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities, and their cutting-edge communications and intelligence gathering capabilities.
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are armed with a variety of weapons systems, including the MK 45 5-inch gun, the RIM-66 Standard Missile, the RIM-174 Standard Extended Range Active Missile, and the RUM-139 Vertical Launch ASROC missile. They also carry anti-ship and anti-submarine torpedoes, and are equipped with two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, as well as search and rescue operations.
In addition to their offensive capabilities, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are equipped with advanced defensive systems, including the Aegis combat system, which integrates the ship’s radar, command and control, and weapons systems to detect and engage threats. They also feature a Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system, which allows the ships to share radar data and coordinate defensive operations with other CEC-equipped ships, aircraft, and land-based systems.
Overall, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are regarded as some of the most versatile and capable warships in the U.S. Navy, and play a critical role in supporting naval and joint operations around the world.