A generation separates the U.S. Navy’s oldest and newest Arleigh Burke class destroyers. Thanks to systems modernizations and installations underway, the crews of the veteran and rookie destroyers will monitor, detect and respond to incoming threats using virtually the same proven, evolving technology: The Aegis Combat System.
The USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), which was commissioned near the end of the Cold War, is undergoing a combat systems modernization in Norfolk, Virginia. The U.S. Navy’s newest destroyer, the USS John Finn (DDG 113), is getting its final touches nearly 1,500 nautical miles away in the warm Gulf Coast waters of Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Both guided missile destroyers will have the latest upgrade to the Aegis Weapon System, called Baseline 9, which expands upon the latest advanced anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense capabilities. Baseline 9 testing began Sept. 5 on the Arleigh Burke and testing for John Finn commenced Sept. 8.
"Today is the day John Finn goes from being a ship to a warship," said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "Our industry partners, Huntington Ingalls and Lockheed Martin, have both worked very hard to achieve this important milestone on time. I looked forward to completion of the ship's test program and taking John Finn to sea next spring. We are one step closer today to delivering John Finn's critical warfighting capability to the fleet."
Baseline 9 is part of the Aegis Common Source Library, which enables software reuse and commonality across all modernized and new Aegis systems. Software updates can be developed and quickly released across the fleet in an efficient “build once, field many times” process.
“The Aegis Common Source Library meets two basic customer needs: rapid technology deployment and cost savings,” said Jim Sheridan, Lockheed Martin director of Aegis programs. “Aegis, through the Baseline 9 modernization, is providing the U.S. Navy state-of-the-art technology to pace the threat at a fraction of the cost of unique baselines.”
“The modernization is testimony to the durability and flexibility of both the Arleigh Burke class ships and the Aegis Combat System’s design,” said Jim Sheridan, Lockheed Martin director of Aegis programs. “When sailors take the Arleigh Burke back to sea, they won’t be using combat systems from the 1990s – they’ll use the same, advanced and evolving systems available to sailors on the John Finn.”
USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) will return to the fleet and complete her missions with a sharper degree of efficiency, tenacity and success. Her homeport is Norfolk.
The pre-commissioning unit John Finn (DDG 113) is expected to begin after sea trials in the spring and, after commissioning, will join the proud tradition of the 63 Arleigh Burke class destroyers. Her homeport will be San Diego, California.