Three DDG 51 Vessels Reach Upgrade Milestones

The Navy’s DDG 51 modernization program has met two key milestones Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) announced Dec. 22.

The milestones involve the successful installation and testing of the new Aegis baseline 9 combat system on two DDG 51 destroyers, and a hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) modernization to a third.

USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Benfold (DDG 65) successfully executed sea trials following extensive, Extended Selected Restricted Availabilities for combat systems modernizations. Barry completed her availability at Naval Station Norfolk and was the first ship to receive the Aegis baseline 9 installation on the East Coast. Benfold completed the baseline 9 modernization at Naval Station San Diego. The modernizations upgraded all major elements of the ships’ combat systems including radars, weapons, communications suite, sonar, electronic warfare, navigation, and computer capability.

Surface Combatant Modernization Program Manager Capt. Ted Zobel, said:

By incorporating smarter technologies, we ensure ships are more efficient and able to meet their tasking for years to come.

During sea trials, the ships demonstrated improved warfighting capability that included the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) embedded in the combat systems upgrade. The new software package, baseline 9C, includes an Aegis Weapon System (AWS) upgrade which introduces an enhanced SPY-1D radar with a multi-mission signal processor for anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense in support of IAMD.

The AWS is complemented with the addition of cooperative engagement capability (CEC), anti-submarine warfare upgrades and improvements to the MK 45 five-inch gun. Ballistic Missile Defense version 5.0 was also included as a major addition to the combat systems upgrade.

The third ship, USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) conducted an availability to overhaul and modernize its HM&E systems at BAE Systems Ship Repair shipyard in Mayport, Florida. The ship received upgrades to enhance its structural integrity while replacing existing propulsion plant control systems with new machinery and damage control systems. This modernization improves the probability that this 17 year-old ship will meet its expected 35 year service life.

All three ships are expected to return to the fleet by early 2015.

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Image: US Navy