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"What commands the seaman's dogged devotion is not the spirit of the sea,
but something that in his eyes has a body, a character, a fascination,
and almost a soul -- it is his ship."
-- Capt. Joseph Conrad (USS HIGGINS DDG79)

Information from the U.S. Navy Fact File - Destroyers

Description: These fast warships help safeguard larger ships in a fleet or battle group.

Features: Destroyers and guided missile destroyers operate in support of carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups. Destroyers primarily perform anti-submarine warfare duty while guided missile destroyers are multi-mission (ASW, anti-air and anti-surface warfare) surface combatants. The addition of the Mk-41 Vertical Launch System or Tomahawk Armored Box Launchers (ABLs) to many Spruance-class destroyers has greatly expanded the role of the destroyer in strike warfare.

Background: Technological advances have improved the capability of modern destroyers culminating in the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class. Named for the Navy's most famous destroyer squadron combat commander and three-time Chief of Naval Operations, the Arleigh Burke was commissioned in July 1991 and was the most powerful surface combatant ever put to sea. Like the larger Ticonderoga class cruisers, DDG-51's combat systems center around the AEGIS combat system and the SPY-lD, multi-function phased array radar. The combination of AEGIS, the Vertical Launching System, an advanced anti-submarine warfare system, advanced anti-aircraft missiles and Tomahawk ASM/LAM, the Burke class continues the revolution at sea.

Designed for survivability, DDG-51 incorporates all-steel construction and many damage control features resulting from lessons learned during the Falkland Islands War and from the accidental attack on USS Stark. Like most modern U.S. surface combatants, DDG-51 utilizes gas turbine propulsion. These ships replaced the older Charles F. Adams and Farragut-class guided missile destroyers.

General Characteristics, Arleigh Burke Class

Builders: Bath Iron Works, Ingalls Shipbuilding
Power Plant: Four General Electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower.
Length: 466 feet (142 meters)
Beam: 59 feet (18 meters)
Displacement: 8,300 tons (7,470 metric tons) full load
Speed: 31 knots (35.7 mph, 57.1 kph)
Aircraft: None. LAMPS III electronics installed on landing deck for coordinated DDG 51/helo ASW operations
Crew: 23 officers, 300 enlisted
Armament: Standard missile; Harpoon; Tomahawk ASM/LAM; six Mk-46 torpedoes (from two triple tube mounts); one 5"/54 caliber Mk-45 (lightweight

"Destroyermen have always been proud people.
They have been the elite.
They have to be proud people and they have to be specially selected, for destroyer life is a rugged one.
It takes stamina to stand up to the rigors of a tossing destroyer.
It takes even more spiritual stamina
to keep going with enthusiasm when you are tired,
and you feel that you and your ship
are being used as a workhorse.
It is true that many people take destroyers for granted
and that is all the more reason why the destroyer Captains
can be proud of their accomplishment."

- Admiral Arleigh Burke

This is NOT an "OFFICIAL US NAVY" web page.
This web page and the information
contained herein does not represent
official Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or
Arleigh Burke Class policies or positions.

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