Navy Unveils Next-Generation DDG(X) Warship Concept with Hypersonic Missiles, Lasers

Source: USNI News.

For anyone in the naval combat support community, this story is a big deal.

The U.S. Navy has always experimented with new warship designs, but a substantial change to vessels at the core of the warfighting fleet is a rare occurrence. Creating a new class of service destroyers is that type of change.

Two of the big experiments in warship design I witnessed as a defense contractor employee were the Littoral Combat Ship and DDG-1000. Neither survived as continuing production vessels, but lessons learned from both appear to be incorporated in the new DDG(x).

This is good news for American taxpayers who expect their naval forces to be well managed, up to date, and reliable.

29 thoughts on “Navy Unveils Next-Generation DDG(X) Warship Concept with Hypersonic Missiles, Lasers

  1. I am an American taxpayer, and it is not good news for me. I would rather spend the resources that are going to go down the drain on yet another military toy boondoggle on something we need. How many trillions will we have to pour into developing and deploying these things and for what?

    Besides, our security is assured for the indefinite future sitting as we do under a shield of Jewish space lasers.

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      1. Rely on them for what?
        As ships age out, just don’t replace them.
        As their officers retire, just don’t replace them.
        An effective way to downsize over time without much disruption of naval careers etc.
        Our Navy is a multiple of all other navies in the world – most of them allied.

        A great deal of our surface navy is for “projecting power” into trouble spots around the world. We need to stop doing that. It gains us nothing.

        Our real need is for a vigorous Coast Guard and a robust nuclear deterrent provided by submarines. IMHO.

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        1. RE: “Our real need is for a vigorous Coast Guard and a robust nuclear deterrent provided by submarines.”

          No thanks.

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          1. I don’t think a vigorous coast guard and a robust nuclear deterrent are an adequate replacement for a deep water navy. So, no thanks applies to your whole line of thinking.

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          2. “So, no thanks applies to your whole line of thinking.”

            Okay, thanks for clarifying. We will have to disagree. I do not think that deep water navy does anything for us except get us into conflicts where we do not belong.

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          3. RE: “I do not think that deep water navy does anything for us except get us into conflicts where we do not belong.”

            One big thing a deep water navy does for us is find enemy submarines that could nuke us, just as you wish our submarines might nuke the enemy. We need surface ships to find submarines.

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          4. “One big thing a deep water navy does for us is find enemy submarines that could nuke us, just as you wish our submarines might nuke the enemy. We need surface ships to find submarines.”

            A fair point, but again it is looking back and not forward. In the event of all-out war, it will be too late to be hunting down submarines. In any case, a navy focused on that task could be much smaller than our current flotillas protecting aircraft carriers.

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          5. RE: “In any case, a navy focused on that task could be much smaller than our current flotillas protecting aircraft carriers.”

            And you know this, how?

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          6. How do I know that?

            Well, my OPINION is based on a little common sense combined with the knowledge that we have eleven aircraft carrier strike groups and that each of these contains a substantial flotilla of cruisers, destroyers, frigates, submarines, and logistics ships.

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          7. Common sense and incomplete knowledge are not serving you well. For example, you seem to be unaware that various Naval and commercial transport ships also require destroyer protection.

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    1. We can always choose to have less of the Navy. The destroyer upgrade in the story is more of a maintenance action than an existential revision.

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  2. This is actually good news for defense contractors. And while a solid, well equipped, well trained Navy (and the other service branches) is good and important for the National Defense, are these new warships necessary for the types of defense we need today?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “are these new warships necessary for the types of defense we need today?”

      That’s a good question. Better radar, more powerful lasers, reconfigurable missile batteries, and plug-in mission modules all look like smart enhancements to me, but I haven’t read the latest strategic review report to know what the admirals are thinking. I suspect the hypersonic missiles our adversaries now possess are seen as a major threat.

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  3. I suppose we need a larger armed force than everybody else since we invade and attack more than anyone else.

    The future in conflict, however, will be much less TNT and a lot more USB. In other words, cyber attacks. We just had some major pipeline hacks that panicked our nation in the last year. Resolved and assured, we went on about our business, but only after a week of gas lines and grumbling.

    What about a grid attack in dead of winter. Hospital data across the nation. Banking. Distribution networks of food? Any one of those lasting a month would have us shooting each other while the enemy takes a break for dinner and a movie.

    But on the upside, we have shiny new ships and a DOD jobs bill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Admirals and generals throughout history have always been preparing themselves for the last war, not the next one. The days when the fates of nations were settled on the surface of the high seas are long gone.

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      1. RE: “Admirals and generals throughout history have always been preparing themselves for the last war, not the next one.”

        Having worked in defense acquisitions for many years I’d say the criticism doesn’t apply. The top brass may not think straight in some ways, but the fast pace of technology change is such that we are always fighting the next war today.

        This can be a difficult concept for people outside the defense industry to grasp, but just having a military is functionally the same as being at war, even during peacetime. This is actually a good thing.

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      2. I understand your loyalty to the Navy and I am sure that you are correct that they work hard to improve and deploy the latest technology – such as this new class of destroyers. But that is still about fighting the last war. If we do get into war with a substantial nation, sea battles where lasers and hypersonic missiles might be useful will be, at best, a side show. IMHO.

        Real power in the world today is economic power. We fritter ours away with excessive military spending.

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  4. Reagan was credited with winning the Cold War, in part because we forced the USSR to spend more than they had and our economy was much stronger. (The Soviets were already coming apart at the seams and that also helped immensely, but that is another story.)

    Does anyone else see a historic parallel here? Are the Chinese working to get us to spend ourselves into a deeper hole while they continue to build up their industrial and tech bases?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Upgrading the destroyer fleet after thirty years isn’t really in the same category as bankrupting ourselves the way the USSR did. Still, you might be right that China presents a Reagan-like threat to us.

      This paragraph from the linked essay makes the point:

      “The Chinese leadership looks more longingly at Germany, with its high level of manufacturing backed by industry-leading Mittelstand firms. Thus Beijing prefers that the best talent in the country work in manufacturing sectors rather than consumer internet and finance. Personally, I think it has been a tragedy for the US that so many physics PhDs have gone to work in hedge funds and Silicon Valley. The problem is not that these opportunities pay so well, rather it is because manufacturing has offered dismal career prospects. I see the Chinese leadership as being relatively unconcerned with talent flow into consumer internet and finance; instead it is trying to fashion an economy in which the physics PhD can do physics, the marine biology student can do marine biology, and so on.”

      https://danwang.co/2021-letter/

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      1. That was a fascinating insiders take on China. Well written too. I had seen the name in passing, and he has written for The Atlantic also.

        Thanks for the link.

        Liked by 1 person

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