Persistent PlatformsThe DDG 51 Case
Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States
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In the U.S. Navy, the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke class of guided-missile destroyer, which first entered service in 1991, remains in production with over 70 vessels delivered. This report explores some of the key reasons for the success of this ship. The upcoming Flight III of the class, which begins procurement in fiscal year 2016, faces the challenging integration of the Air and Missile Defense Radar, which adds ballistic missile defense capability to the vessel. We conclude that the DDG 51 class features the expandability growth margin and open systems characteristic of a persistent platform that continues in production and service for a greater period of time than would have originally been contemplated.