Stackley: Arleigh Burke Flight III Destroyer, Air Missile Defense Radar Development On TrackApril 8, 2016
The Navy’s chief acquisition officer said despite recent shifts in its destroyer acquisition outlook – the service’s program to put a next generation radar on a Flight III Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer (DDG-51) hull is on track.
Last week’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) contract announcement — in which the Navy awarded two Flight IIA hulls — fomented confusion in Congress and other parts of the Navy who assumed one of the hulls contracted in Fiscal Year 2016 would be set to be built as a more complex Flight III with the new Raytheon SPY-6 Air Missile Defense Radar (AMDR).
“The plan has always been two destroyers a year, we introduce Flight III in the last ship of 2016 as an ECP – an engineering change proposal,” Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition told USNI News following a Wednesday hearing before the Senate armed services seapower committee.
The engineering change proposal is guide for the modifications to the base Burke hull to upgrade the ship’s power, cooling and electrical system to install the active electronically scanned array (AESA) SPY-6 radar – which will be 30 times more powerful than the current SPY-1D radar on the current Burkes.
However which 2016 destroyer will be the Flight III is still unclear. Late last year – during the deliberations for the Fiscal Year 2016 budget – Congress included $1 billion in the Navy’s budget for a third Burke in ’16 and permission to fund the ships incrementally.
However, $1 billion isn’t enough to build a Burke destroyer and the Navy included an extra $433 million in its FY 2017 unfunded priority list to cover the difference.
“So today, we’re basically describing to Congress – we need another $433 million to finish the [third] ship,” Stackley said.
“Now we’re waiting to get this additional FY ‘16 ship in hand in a timely manner to award the ECP for this [third] ship. If we can’t get this ship in a timely manner then we’ll have to modify one the two that are already under contract.”