Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The Navy has begun a program to modernize its 22 in-service Aegis cruisers and the 62 Aegis destroyers procured in FY2005 and prior years. Under Navy plans, the modernization of these 84 ships would occur over a period of more than 20 years. The programs estimated total cost is about 16.6 billion in constant FY2010 dollars. The modernizations are intended to ensure that the ships can be operated cost-effectively throughout their entire 35- or 40-year intended service lives. The modernizations of all 62 destroyers and at least 10 of the cruisers are to include the installation of a capability for conducting ballistic missile defense BMD operations. The Aegis cruiser and destroyer modernization program poses several potential oversight issues for Congress, including the Navys overall vision behind the program, which shipyards should be used to perform the modernizations, the potential for expanding the scope of work performed in the modernizations, and the Navys strategy for moving to an open architecture OA version of the Aegis combat system. In addition, some observers are concerned that demands from U.S. regional military commanders for BMD-capable Aegis ships are growing faster than the number of BMD-capable Aegis ships. One option for addressing this concern would be to accelerate the Aegis destroyer modernization schedule, so as to get more BMD-capable DDG-51s into the fleet sooner.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Marine Engineering